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New research shows the difficulty of diet on both diabetes patients and their caretakers. Great article.

Taking care of the caretaker

A new national survey of over one thousand caretakers has just been released. This survey indicates that the most common struggle among the caretakers of people with diabetes is difficulty associated with helping their loved one follow a diabetic diet. As a matter of fact, over half of the respondents indicated that they struggle with cooking, meal planning, or non-compliance. An additional 12% of those caretakers reported that their own stress and emotional health was a concern because of the challenge of being an unpaid caretaker.

“Caregivers are involved with a wide range of diabetes-related responsibilities and, as a result, many report some social and personal health sacrifices due to their caregiving,” said Gail Hunt, of the National Alliance for Caregiving. Many caregivers turn to outside service providers to find ways to reduce their stress while still providing the best possible care for their loved ones.

These findings come as no surprise to Stacey Davis of Advantage Meal Solutions, a national network of locally owned businesses that each provide local home-cooked meal solutions. “Next to delivered weight loss meals, our meal solutions business owners tell us that the steadiest demand for service is from caretakers who need assistance in providing for their loved ones with diabetes and other illnesses,” said Davis. “We are fortunate that the recipes in our menu rotation easily meet the guidelines for healthy eating of the American Diabetes Association.”

Live in caretakers must remember that taking care of themselves has to be the first priority. So often the rigors and stress associated with daily caretaking take a toll on the health of the caretaker. When the caretaker becomes ill, then everyone suffers. Caretakers need to make time for themselves. Social time, exercise time, and time outside can do wonders for the health of those who are committed to taking care of others.

The forgotten caretaker is often family who lives elsewhere but still deal daily with the stress of finding ways to help their loved ones. Many make long and tiring trips on a regular basis to provide basic in-home assistance. For many of these absentee caretakers, it is a great struggle to find trustworthy local assistance that can take some of the burden of care.

Advantage Meal Solutions’ data shows that nearly 20% of their healthy meal delivery clients (seniors, those on medically restricted diets, and those with a short term illness or injury) have their in-home meal service either provided for or supplemented by children and family who live elsewhere. There are wonderful government subsidized programs like Meals on Wheels, but even those services leave holes for evening and weekend meals that locally owned meal solution business have began to fill for burdened caretakers.

As America’s baby-boomer population continues to age more of us will face the challenges of diabetes and other adult onset illness. Not only will we begin to better understand the new challenges of in-home-aging, but we will begin to understand the toll that task will take upon the new generation of caretakers. America is blessed to have a wonderful organization like the National Alliance for Caregiving and growing franchise opportunities like Advantage Meal Solutions to help us all age with independence and dignity.

About the National Alliance for Caregiving

The National Alliance for Caregiving is a non-profit coalition of national organizations focusing on issues of family caregiving. It was created to conduct research, do policy analysis, develop national programs, increase public awareness of family caregiving issues, work to strengthen state and local caregiving coalitions, and represent the United States caregiving community internationally. For more information about the Alliance, <sic> google for their website...

About Advantage Meal Solutions

Advantage Meal Solutions is a network of locally owned family businesses that is expanding across America. Each meal solutions business serves senior citizens, weight loss clients, those on medically restricted diets, and those who need short term meal solutions to ease life’s greatest challenges. These services are either provided as delivered meals and delivered groceries, or as an in-home personal chef service. For more information about Advantage Meals, <sic> google for their website...
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