WHAT IS DIABETES?
Diabetes is a disease that occurs when your blood glucose, also called blood sugar, is too high. It is a systemic disease that can affect the body on both an immediate and a long-term basis. Many of these long-term complications can be barriers to performance of activities necessary to successfully self-manage diabetes. Diabetes is also frequently accompanied by depression and anxiety.
HOW CAN OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY HELP?
Occupational therapy practitioners are experts at analyzing the performance skills and patterns necessary for people to engage in their everyday activities (occupations). They can effectively educate and train persons at risk for or who currently have diabetes to modify current habits and routines and develop new ones to promote a healthier lifestyle and minimize disease progression.
According to AADE’s disabilities position statement, Occupational therapy practitioners are knowledgeable about the impact of medical conditions on an individual’s day-to-day and long-term functioning. Through their holistic approach they address the physical, cognitive, psychosocial, and sensory aspects inherent in the performance of everyday life activities. Occupational therapy practitioners develop a collaborative relationship with their clients to prioritize what they want and need to accomplish—which is critical in a disease requiring self-management 24 hours per day, 7 days per week. Occupational therapy practitioners can modify or adapt how their clients perform their desired self-care tasks to promote ease and success in achieving their goals in managing this disease.
RISK FACTORS AND PREVENTION TIPS
Diabetics are at increased risk for tissue damage due to lack of sensation and neuropathy. As circulation is compromised, delays in the healing can take place. Diabetics should check their feet daily, usually at the end of the day when they remove their shoes. They should note any redness and check again after 20 minutes to see if the redness has dissipated. Anything longer than 20 minutes can indicate that there is too much pressure in that area which can lead to eventual tissue breakdown. If sensation is diminished, it is advisable that the patient never goes barefoot as the foot can be more easily injured without their knowledge. If a diabetic individual is unable to see the bottom of their feet, a mirror can be used to evaluate for any warning signs. These are just a few measures a person with diabetes can take to prevent ulcerations. If left untreated, ulcerations can become infected and lead to an eventual amputation.
HOW OUR TEAM CAN HELP
Our clinicians perform comprehensive evaluations to determine proper diabetic footwear. All custom inserts are fabricated in-house for a quick turnaround time.
At Rehability, our team of Prosthetists, Orthotists, Physical and Occupational Therapists can work collaboratively with diabetic clients to prioritize what they need and want to accomplish with a disease requiring self-management 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Contact Rehability at (352) 701-0494 to learn more about how we can help you.
11216 Spring Hill Drive
Spring Hill, FL 34609