Dietetics Articles

Misperceptions of Diabetes Management in Aged Care

The biggest misperception relating to diabetes in aged care relates to a lot of sites still using a “diabetic diet” for residents with diabetes.

For years now the guidelines are that a specific diabetic diet is not needed (and is unnecessarily restrictive without really having much benefit of any for the resident).

A person with a diabetes can have a normal diet. The guidelines are to look at the glycaemic index of foods rather than the amount of sugar (as was in the old diabetic diets).

Another recommendation is that artificial sweeteners are not warranted for people with diabetes, especially in desserts

Aged Care Facilities should consider that for a resident with diabetes, malnutrition may be the most imminent risk (and not the diabetes). The recommendation for such residents would be to address the malnutrition, even though this may seem counter the recommendations that may be implemented for someone with diabetes solely.  In such cases both the malnutrition and diabetes would need addressing, but the most imminent risk would be managed first. The resident would then need monitoring and ongoing follow up.

To ensure appropriate foods are provided to residents according to the Australian Guidelines, Aged Care Facilities should maintain up to date menu assessments and seek regular input from an aged care experienced Accredited Practising Dietitian. Click here for more information.