What can I do if my diabetic father doesn't take his medicine properly and eats poorly?

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How old is your father? How long has he had diabetes? Does he live alone? Aside from diabetes, is he generally in good health? Any signs of cognitive decline? Do you know why he neglects his medicine? Is it denial, poor memory, depression, rebellion, problem swallowing them? How well managed is his diabetes? For example, what is his A1C level? Does he see a doctor regularly? (Most doctors require regular visits to keep refilling prescriptions.) I was about to give my brother a lot of advice about managing his diabetes because I thought some of his practices were very unhealthy. But first I asked him what his latest A1C was, and, sheesh, it was better than mine! So I kept my mouth shut. :)

What do you mean by not taking his medicine properly? He skips a dose now and then? He goes days without taking any? He takes it at the wrong time of day? He takes the wrong amount? What do you mean by "eats poorly"? Skips meals? Eats too much and is gaining weight? Eats a reasonable amount but not a good variety of fruits, veggies, grains, and protein? Eats a lot of sweets? Thinks a beer in one hand and a bag of Doritos in the other is a balanced meal? :) Has he ever had any training in how he should eat? Most insurance plans and Medicare cover sessions with a Diabetes Educator. Those sessions can be very helpful, and in most cases family or household members are invited to participate.

I applaud your concern for him. I hope you can gently nudge him in the right direction without harming your relationship with him.

And this is just a personal opinion, but I would hesitate to hold a nursing home out as a punishment for poor behavior. Who knows? Some day he may need a long-term care facility for a variety of reasons, and that is a hard enough move without adding lots of negative associations. What scares me most as a diabetic is the thought of impaired vision or an amputation.
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I understand what you mean deb, but you have to be careful. You want to "scare" him into taking care of himself, but threatening a nursing home or hospital may cause him to further shut down. You know your dad best, if scare tactics work, go for it. If not, ask a nurse to come in once a week and set up his meds for the week. You can contact a meals on wheels or some program like that that may be able to provide the proper meals. Hope this helps!
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Is the problem he can't do it or he is unwilling to accept help? There are lots of programs to help with meals and ways to set up meds. If he refuses to take his meds and eat right then a good dose of reality conversation might help. "Hospitals, nursing homes are the future if you won't help yourself stay healthy". If he won't take care of himself and won't let you help all you can do is pick up the pieces. I lot of us find ourselves in that same situation. Good luck.
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