From Ballwin, Missouri, USA:
My 51 year old daughter has had type 1 diabetes since she was 18 months old and schizoaffective disorder, and these two chronic illnesses have taken their toll. About four months ago, she developed Charcot foot, and we have learned it will take a very long time for the foot to heal and has been living with me and good diabetes management will help so she has been living with me.
I have been helping her with this and staying in close touch with her doctors, but her blood glucose levels still fluctuate. On three occasions, her blood glucose has dropped suddenly to 30 mg/dl [1.7 mmol/L], and she has passed out. We have come to the conclusion that it is not wise that she live alone anymore. However, I am 72 years old and am concerned about her care. I am wondering how long I can sustain the level of care-giving she now needs. I am afraid it is affecting me physically as well as mentally to be her care-giver to this level. Her cognitive functioning fluctuates now, and she needs prompting to stay on her schedule, help with the figuring her diet and the ratio system which mimics the pump. (We tried the pump but during a period of mania, but she took it off and her doctor felt it was too risky for her to continue.) Her schizoaffective disorder seems to be under control for about seven months, I do not see paranoia or delusions or mania, and her depression at losing her apartment seems at a "natural level". Does the American Diabetes Association address the problem of housing or subsidized living arrangements for people who lived for as long as 49 years past diagnosis of type 1 diabetes?
Yes. the American Diabetes Association helps with advocacy, education, professional education, local support groups, and research funding. Call the local ADA chapter and find out what they are doing, what may be of help to you, how you can help get involved etc.
Additional comments from Jane Seley, diabetes nurse specialist:I suggest you contact a social worker affiliated with the hospital where your daughter gets her medical and psychiatric care to find out what services she is entitled to. She may be entitled, for example, to a part time homemaker who can help your daughter with her care and give you some much needed rest.
Original posting 12 Aug 2003
Posted to Community Resources
Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:09:46
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