Due to their age and health status, nursing home residents require constant monitoring to check their health. This is the same for diabetic patients who require frequent blood sugar level tracking. Failure to do so could result in more complications and even death in some situations.
Therefore, nursing home staff members are obliged to ensure that their patients are well looked after. If they do not meet these standards, they could be sued for nursing home neglect and wrongful death by federal and state laws. Moreover, they may be required to reimburse the family for any losses incurred from their negligence.
Senior adults with diabetes are at risk of:
- Kidney failure
- Vision problems
- Foot disorders
- Hyperglycemia (high blood sugar) and hypoglycemia(low blood sugar)
Results of Nursing Home Neglect for Diabetes Patients
As mentioned before, diabetic patients require constant observation and care to keep their sugar levels within healthy ranges. Very high or low blood glucose could be fatal to patients. Here are some complications from poor diabetic care:
- Eye damage- unmonitored diabetes could damage the retina’s blood vessels, causing vision problems like blindness, glaucoma, and cataracts.
- Foot damage- diabetic patients have difficulty recovering from cuts and blisters due to nerve damage and poor blood flow. This could eventually result in serious foot infections, leading to amputations of the toes, foot, or entire leg.
- Cardiovascular diseases- diabetic patients risk stroke, heart attack, atherosclerosis, and chest pain.
- Alzheimer’s disease- type 2 diabetes can cause dementia and Alzheimer’s disease
- Kidney damage- unhealthy blood sugar levels can damage blood vessels found in the kidneys. Severe damage to these vessels may lead to kidney damage.
- Nerve damage- high blood glucose levels damage blood vessels, while low blood sugar causes tingling, numbness, and burning pain.
Care for Diabetes Patients in Nursing Homes
Diabetes management in nursing homes is the responsibility of the family, staff, nursing facilities, and the patient. Quality care increases the patient’s life expectancy. Therefore, such patients require individual care plans (ICP).
To provide quality diabetes care, the staff should:
- Provide a proper diet to manage carbohydrate and fat intake
- Properly administer diabetes medication
- Constantly monitor blood sugar levels in patients
- Engage the patients in suitable physical activity
While monitoring patients, the following records should be taken:
- Blood pressure
- Glucose levels
- Existing medications
- Family health history
- Length of disease
- Existing medical conditions
As technology continues to advance, new methods of diabetes management are being implemented. The American Diabetes Association (ADA) and the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists (AACE) have recommended methods like converting SSI (sliding scale insulin) regimens to safer treatment options, as well as creating patient-centered care methods.
The SSI treatment method administers insulin to patients based on their blood sugar levels. It is not highly effective when used alone hence the need to substitute it with other treatment strategies.
Responding to Nursing Home Neglect
Suppose you suspect that your loved one has been neglected by receiving improper diabetes care. You can file a nursing home abuse lawsuit. This is done by hiring a nursing home neglect attorney to help you with the proceedings.
“Filing a claim will help you get compensation for medical bills and funeral expenses in the event of wrongful death,” says attorney Sean O’Neill of California Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers. Finally, holding the facility accountable for neglect will prevent further neglect of other residents.