Assisted Living: Finding a Facility Diabetes- Friendly - 8 News NOW

Paula Francis, Anchor

Assisted Living: Finding a Facility Diabetes- Friendly

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It's never easy to put your mom or dad into assisted living, but the decision also becomes more complicated when your aging parent has diabetes. These facilities have limited responsibility for that care. In this week's Dealing with Diabetes report, find out how to tell if a facility is diabetes- friendly.

Patricia Woodall lives at Chancellor Gardens, an assisted living facility in Las Vegas where a fourth of the residents are diabetic. Woodall was diagnosed eight years ago at the age of 75.

"And we do have a doctor that comes here once a week, and he does do a thorough check-up on us," shared Woodall.

In most assisted living facilities, it's left up to the residents to check their blood sugar levels and to take their medication on time. If insulin injections are necessary, the resident has to it themselves or hire an outside nurse.

Chancellor Gardens' executive director, Nana Gyeabour says a facility should be upfront about what they can or cannot do for diabetics, and some places will not accept them at all.

"But if the residents or family members decide their loved ones can take care of themselves, then we say OK, they can move in here," said Gyeabour.

So how do you know if one facility is better than another for a diabetic? Las Vegas endocrinologist, Fred Toffel says there are at least four things to look for.

  • Is the kitchen staff flexible enough to meet the needs of a diabetic, including offerings of tasty, yet low cholesterol meals?
  • Will they provide transportation to an individual's own physician -- some have travel limits?
  • Are they willing to help handle medications; some will order for you?
  • Do they provide a safe means for the disposal of needles?

In most cases, it will be up to the children to ask the right questions. In Woodall's case, it was her daughter. "She was a doctor, a dentist. And she could handle it. And I let her handle it," said Woodall.

While assisted living facilities cannot administer insulin, a nursing home should be able to.

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