Any advice to help me with my Mother 86, diabetes 1 with blood sugar 20 - 23?


My mother is 86 and has dementia and diabetes 1. She refuses to drink her tablets for the diabetes and only wants to drink Coke and Cup of Soup with 1 slice of white bread and apricot jam. She gets up between 12 and 2 in the day and asking for coffee and 1 slice of bread. Then goes back to sleep and get up at 3 and ask for cup of soup and 1 slice of bread. Then I give her a cooked meal at 6 or 7 and she doesn't finish it. 10 to 15 minutes after the meal she asks me to make her soup and 1 slice of bread again. I want to get upset with her then but I just get up and do it then. Any advice please. I don't do a daily sugar level test but when I do then it is between 20 - 23....shall I just leave it to let it go its own way, because normally with that type of reading they go into in coma, but she seems to be fine with it and says she feels fine.

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Marlene, you've got a situation that many people have to cope with. It's not always diabetes, but diabetes is one of the most difficult. You know what foods your mom should have and not have and how regularly she should eat. However, when a person has dementia, he or she may not even remember eating, let alone cooperate with what is the right kind of meal.

I'm not sure you can do a lot, but I'd do as Orangeblossom suggested and look under health conditions for more information. I'd also have a discussion with your mom's doctor about the situation. Any doctor who knows dementia is going to realize that you have a real problem here and that likely all you can do is your best effort to get her to eat the right foods. But a medical opinion would help you feel better (I hope). Good luck with this challenge.
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I agree with above that you should definitely call her doctor regarding this - as she may be getting too much insulin. I am familiar with diabetes as my mother-in-law and husband both have it. Your mom's insulin should be checked at least once a day, preferably twice a day or more if there are problems. But her blood sugar levels are WAY too low to be making a rational decision even if she seems okay. An average level is between 70-100. So if I took her level and it was 20-23, I would INSIST she drink a Coke to bring her levels back up right away. Personally, that's probably what has been raising her level to average without you realizing it. As far as the Coke issue - if she wants a Coke a day, I don't see that being a problem as long as she doesn't overdo it. She's 86, so why not if that's the only sugary thing she likes - I'd let her have it. But the other times when she just wants toast and coffee or soup and bread, I would give her a piece of candy or something afterwards. By no means is this a good diet, but if her blood sugar keeps staying down so low, eventually she is going to go into a diabetic coma. And once she does, there may be no going back. She's definitely not eating enough. Elderly don't eat a lot anyway, but that is not enough. Talk to the doctor about her lack of eating as he can prescribe Megace, which is a liquid medication that helps increase their appetite. And her diabetes and not eating is contributing big time to her sleeping too much too. If I were you, I'd check with her doctor as soon as possible. Good luck!!
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Marlene, I wish I could offer you some tips other than getting firm (not angry) with her. I can relate to your frustration, and it's so hard to accept the fact that she can't help the way she behaves. I don't know much about diabetes. There is quite a bit of info on this site. Go to the Elder Care tab, Health conditions, then Diabetes. There are many articles, but if you scroll down there are lists of caregiver Questions and also caregiver Discussions. Maybe you will find some similar situations, or maybe post your question in that section instead of this one.
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This sounds really exhausting for you... I agree with other suggestions. Call her doctor asap and schedule an appt with your Mom and let him know what is happening and what ideas he may have.

You could also have a schedule on the frig and every time your Mom eats, perhaps your Mom can write her initials or you can place a sticker... a visual to show your Mom when she eats.

One thing I would do **immediately** is stop buying soda - it is one of the culprits behind obesity and diabetes, amongst other health issues.
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