Night time care of a diabetic

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I am soon going to be caring for my mother-in-law in my home. I also care for my 4 year old grandson and have a full time job. My mother-in-law has a multitude of medical problems but the one that concerns me is her diabetes. She does not manage it and she tends to bottom out at night. I would like some advice on how I can monitor her at night without making hourly trips to her room to make sure she is ok. Can anyone assist me with this problem?


Spacing meals at 3-hour intervals throughout the day, and a light snack before bedtime along with regular blood sugar monitoring throughout the day will help to keep her glucose levels as stable as reaonably possible. Erratic eating habits cause dramatic highs and lows and undesirable side effects. Does she take insulin injections? How often? Is there a nighttime insulin shot that she needs to take? What are her sleeping patterns, as in how early does she rise, how late does she go to sleep, and does she ever awaken in the wee hours feeling shaky, disoriented, or hungry? Lots to consider, but it also depends on diet, glucose readings historically and currently, and sleep patterns, among other things. Might be a good thing to join her on her next two medical visits and just listen to her endocrinologist interact with her, if your MIL will allow you to do that. Let her know that you want to know how best to support her when she moves in. How old is she? Is her eyesight ok? What about mental confusion symptoms? Answer depends on a whole lot.
She has 3 different insulins that she takes, one first thing in the morning, another when it goes too high and another that she takes with her dialysis at night, but she doesn't always take the night time one. She is 68 years old with a multitude of medical problems. She doesn't eat properly and with her dialysis she goes to bed around 9 or 10 and remains on her dialysis machine for 8 hours and 45 minutes. So she is unable to get up until the machine shuts off. She also has severe heart problems.
Sounds like she qualifies for home health aides to come in and monitor her blood sugar at least once a day, at a time she takes an injection. You should not have to bear the entire responsibility for keeping her healthy. At 68, she seems young to have so many health isues.
My mother is a type I diabetic aged 75. She has dementia as well so we know she forgets her meds often. We have asked a visiting nurse to come in (paid in past by insurance) to fill her syringes for the week with the proper amount of insulin, label and place them in the fridge. I often have to take ehr monitor and check her blood sugar myself before she injects herself. I record the blood sugars for the doctor and call them in weekly as the doctor needs to assist in this care also. Adjustments are made accordingly. She doesn't eat well either, so we just keep adjusting the insulin to the weekly blodd sugar numbers and always make sure there is plenty of accessible, healthy foods to nibble on. Good luck, sounds like you have your hands full!
With dialysis overnight in the mix, I am with pgscott. Your MIL's caregiving should not be a one-person act. It sounds like it will be way too much for just one person. You sure do need help. Everything pg and I have shared is true, but your MIL's unique health challenges and required treatments may require a whole lot more support than you are able to provide, especially upfront, without fully knowing what all you will have to deal with. Very caregiving situation brings its own learning curve. This one sounds pretty steep.

You and your husband should schedule a consult with her doctor. Your husband is blessed to have you, and it is his Mom. He needs to be fully aware of what all is involved, and, how it will affect both of your lives. Sometimes we try to be martyrs, not because of wanting acclaim, but because we just roll with the punches and think we are the ones who have to do it all and figure it all out. Your husband needs to be your caregiving business solutions partner, as it is his Mom that you have agreed to care for. God bless you all, and grant you the full discernment you will need to successfully navigate this caregiving challenge in your lives. Keep sharing as so many of us really do care about what happens to our fellow caregivers.
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I agree with the rest. This should not be all up to you. It's too much for one person to handle. The safest and best care for your MIL is to get more help.
You may want to consider a medical alert dog.

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