The nursing home takes my mom’s blood sugar, how can they tell anything from that?

Asked by

Answers 1 to 10 of 14
Why not call around to some other places and ask if that's 'normal' for keeping track of someones blood sugar?
She must be diabetic??? If not has she recently had surgery? Is she borderline? And they want to keep track to make sure she hasn't become diabetic? If you give me some more details I might be able to help. This is a good place to come ask questions.
she has had diabeties for about 20 yrs...
they know she has it- i just dont see why they arent taking it more than 2 time a week-doesnt make sense to me
i asked them...and their answer was that is when we take it-very informative-im checking other nh now to see what they do
thanks for responding
Ahh, ok they should be checking it more than twice a week, more like 2 or 3 times a day. Esspecially if she is on insilin. if you feel this is not the right thing I would contact her dr. Also if you are her poa or she is her own gaurdian, either one of you have the right to have it check whenever you request it. Some nh will only do as little as they can get by with. If you feel this is the case I would do somthing.
thanks- once a week- even if it is 2 x on that day-really doesnt sit well with me-]
it sounds pretty outrageous-
im no longer her poa of anything- brother taken over- but he and i have different isdeas on what "good care" is, thats part of the problem
thaks fo your post
Top Answer
Determining blood sugar levels is not theraputic -- it doesn't cure or make anything better. It provides information only. How often this information is needed depends on the particular circumstances. If a diabetic's condition has been very stable and is in the target range, taking it once a week, before and after a meal in order to see how the body is handling the challenge of carbs, may be perfectly appropriate. Poking a finger to draw blood when the information is not particularly useful is unnecessary discomfort and expense. If the person's blood sugar level is outside the target range and/or it seems to be wildly varying, and/or the person takes insulin or a medication that must be calibrated to the blood sugar level, then more frequent testing is justified and necessary -- perhaps even multiple times a day.

As in so many aspects of health care, one size does not fit all. There is no "normal" without knowing the specific circumstances. I think it is irresponsible to poke someone's finger to draw blood when the information is not needed. I think it is irresponsible to not draw blood if doing so can provide information that will help determine effective med dosages or an early warning about problems.

Probably more informative than asking the person who takes the blood sugar reading would be talking to the director of nursing. Do they customize how often this procedure is done based on the patient's circumstances? Are they trying for a one-size-fits-all approach because that is most most-effective? I'd want to find out the reasons behind the NH practices before judging the policy.

More important than the finger prick readings is the A1C test results. How often does the NH have that test done? How did they establish that policy?
u r a wise woman-
makes sense-
have to ask more quest to the nh-
thank you
Allshesgot, you may know someone, maybe more than one someone, with diabetes who needs to take bs readings multiple times per day, every day. Many do. But for many others a different schedule is appropriate. Some people with diabetes get by with manging bs through diet and exercise only. Others need oral medications. Others need insulin and possibly oral meds besides. Some have remained very stable and in the target range for the last 10 years, some have A1C levels creeping upwards, out of the "safe" range. Some recently diagnosed diabetics need to take frequent readings to learn how their bodies react to various carb loads and exercise.

Because diabetes is so common and everyone has it or knows someone with the condition it is easy to think we know what is needed. But it really is a complicated condition, and each case needs individual guidelines.
Jeanna,bless your heart for awnsering, you are right, not everyones diabetes is the same or treated the same. Yes, I know many people who have diabetes including the lady I take care of now, the lady I took care of before her, a childhood friend and mother, other realitives and countless residents and patients in nh and hospitals that I have taken care of over the last 12 years or so. If you will look back I said especially insulin dependant diabetics should have theirs taken 2 or 3 times a day. Krnhersh said she asked and they told her that's just when they do it, if nothing else ,if a family member ask that type of question it deserves more of a dignified response than its just when we do it, she should have at least been directed to the person who could awnser that question for her. She said her mom had had it for more than 20 years, I assume she probably has been around her mother in the past and knows her diabetes was handled differently that's why she was concerned. It is also common in the elderly for their diabetes to become worse over time, and become more resistant to insulin causing them more problems rather than stabilize. I also repectfully disagree with your statment that taking a bs reading is not theraputic, or makes anything better. I have seen people crash and paramedics run iv glucose to pull them out of convulsions or comas because they will have a hypoglycemic attack. Its not pretty! People especially the elderly can die from this. Controlling blood sugar is many times part of pallitive and hospice care to keep them comfortable. Extemly high and low bs causes discomfort. And a person feels so much better when their bs is in a normal range.Its also important part of healing. I have also seen in the nh many things thats done for the convince of nh staff, including bs not taken, meds given at wrong times. If you have an elderly in a nh you do need to make sure they are being cared for properly. Yes nh staff is often times oover worked under paid, and "cutting some corners" has to be done at times but not at the expense of the health and well being of a resident. You are right, this may not be the case here, she should get an explination. Family should be able to leave a patient in the care of a nh, and know all is well and things are being taken care of, but as we all know from what we hear in the news often times its not. It s important for the family to make sure. At the end of the day in care facilitys its the ones who has a caring watchful family that gets the best care. Fair? NO! But true? yes, somtimes. People ask questions on here to get quick advise and opinions. No one on here claims to be a dr. Or know all the right awnsers, and the people asking the question knows this is a forum of peers not experts. So if you didn't agree with my awnser that's ok. I dont always agree with people either. Somtimes that's what makes this forum work so well, a mix bag od awnsers. you ask a question you get educated awnsers, commonsense awnsers, somtimes awnsers so simple they are brilliant. And lots and lots of opinions. Thank you for your comment it was very informative. Some good points, no we shouldn't jump to conclusions and blame the nh for somthing that has a reason. I bet you have a lot to teach all of us. Taking care of somone with alz. Is no easy task. Big ol huggs from me to you.
Allshesgot, I respectfully repeat that taking the bs reading only provides information. In itself it does not cure or help anything. It is somewhat like taking a blood pressure reading or taking a temperature. Acting on the information is what counts. Managing blood sugar is certainly important. How often you need bs readings to do that varies greatly depending on the situation. Also, sometimes diabetics get worse as they age. It is also possible that as they lose weight and are in an environment where their food is managed that they can also stabilize at a healthier bs level. I know nothing about the Mom in question -- if she takes insulin, what her last A1c test number is, what meds she is on. Presumably the NH does know these things. I just know that with the information given we can't say that she definitely needs her blood tested several times a day, and we can't find out by calling other NHs and checking how they do it. If it were my mother I'd talk to the nursing director before I jumped to any conclusions.

You and I are definitely in agreement that managing blood sugar levels is vitally important to diabetics. I just know that one size does not fit all when it comes to how to do that.

Share your answer

Please enter your Answer

Ask a Question

Reach thousands of elder care experts and family caregivers
Get answers in 10 minutes or less
Receive personalized caregiving advice and support