World Diabetes Day is a global awareness campaign observed all around the world on November 14th. This article is all about how your home should be prepared to make it diabetes-friendly. The definition of “home safety” expands for people with diabetes. Home safety includes taking precautions to make sure you avoid serious emergencies caused by diabetes or related complications. Here are a few guiding principles that will get you on your way to a safer home environment.
Always store packs of glucose or sugar nearby
You should keep some form of fast-acting glucose in the house, in a convenient place if you use insulin, sulfonylureas, or aren’t able to sense low blood sugar (hypoglycemia unawareness). Stock some inside your car if you have one, too.
Make a medical binder and place that on the wall
In case of severe hypo- or hyperglycemia, friends, family members, and emergency responders will need your health information quickly. A smart idea for this can be to create a binder with lists of any medical conditions or allergies you have, your medications and their dosages, and the names and phone numbers of your health care providers. Hang this on the wall and make sure to let people know about the mechanism of using it so they can act quickly in case of an emergency.
Preparation of a glucagon kit
Prepare a glucagon kit with powder and liquid, a clean syringe with a set of syringe needles. Prepare 4-5 emergency kits and keep them in safe and convenient places. Make sure these places are of the right temperature and to check for validity every few months. Whenever you become severely hypoglycemic (unconscious people should not be given food or drink), a friend or family member will need to know how to administer glucagon and where you keep your glucagon kit. Train everyone in your household on how to mix the powder and liquid in the kit, fill the syringe, and give the injection.
Preparation for any emergency situation
Becoming unconscious because of hypoglycemia is scary for anyone, especially for diabetic patients who live alone. Ask a friend or family member to call each morning to make a cross-checking. Try setting up a home medical alert system if necessary.
Properly arrange your medicines
Since Type 2 Diabetes is so prevalent, it’s not uncommon for more than one person in a household to have diabetes. In those situations, it’s easy to mistake someone else’s medication for your own. Keeping your medication in separate places and using separate pillboxes with multiple chambers can make life easier for you. You can also write your initials on the top with a permanent marker, make multiple copies of your prescriptions, or highlight a portion of the label in different colors (for morning, afternoon and night). Make sure you have the right medicine in your hands before you take any.
Clean your floors and keep it dry
Always keep your floors clean and dry. If you are suffering from diabetic neuropathy, it is essential for you to keep the ground dry and cleaning it with antiseptic medicine every day. Keep rubber sandals specifically for use within the household.
Elderly people with diabetes who prefer to live on their own can maintain independence while staying safe by hiring a home health aide or certified nursing assistant, both of whom provide health-related care. But it is highly recommended to keep your house as diabetes-friendly as possible. It is rather more important to stay safe and sound and to do that, you need to recognize the importance of creating a diabetes-friendly environment.
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