Helping A Person With Alzhemer's and Diabetes with a Low BG Episode

Graylin Bee
By Graylin Bee Latest Reply 2011-05-15 17:47:04 -0500
Started 2011-05-15 16:03:50 -0500

Last night one of the residents where I work possibly had a low BG hit her suddenly. She got up to use the toliet, then called for my help. Her legs were herking when I entered her room. She was alert and responsive to my questions. After a few minutes she became suddenly lethergic, but still was talking with me. Her BP was a little high, pulse and O2 were fine. Her skin color was good, she didn't feel hot, or cold to the touch. She has Alzheimer's and a pacemaker. I was able to get her to eat a slice of cheese and about 10 carbs of a brownie. She cannot have acidic foods or drinks because of another medical condition. There are notes posted in several locations reminding staff to never give her acidic things. Her diabetes is controlled by oral meds. She doesn't have a Glucometer. No Drs. order for one and I don't know if we can test her if there is no order from her Dr. I plan on talking with my Boss about this. At my old job each Diabetic resident had their own and we tested them if they showed signs of being high or low, besides other usual BG checks. After about an hr she was responding like her usual cheerful self.
Seemed a little easier to know what to do for her after all my practice this year getting to know what to do for myself. At my old job there were a few residents who would often drop low during the night. I always felt under prepared to help them. Wondering if what food we had would help or not. I will be talking with my boss about having a few more food options on hand. The only other protein choice was ham. This resident does not eat ham due to her religion. The only other quick acting carbs on hand were OJ, lemonade, cherry pie and of course sugar. I figure when in doubt go for the chocolate.
This was my 12th night on the job and I don't know f she has a history of lows. Another thing to talk with my boss about. Since the resident has Alzheimer's she is not able to tell me about what is normal for her or not. She did remember that she has diabetes and was wondering why I was letting her eat a brownie. Made her laugh when I apologized for giving her more cheese after eating chocolate. I explained it was chemistry. Said you didn't know I was a chemist. When she laughed at me I knew she was feeling better.
Oh, I just remebered there was applesauce. use it twice a night for another resident for her crushed pain medication. Rats, I hate when my mind buts something in a compartment. I had ruled out what was in the fridge door because it has the yogurt, she can't have some dairy. I didn't ask about yogurt but had asked if she could have cheese on the first day of training in Memory Care 3 weeks ago. Another question when I talk with the Boss.

3 replies

jayabee52 2011-05-15 17:18:59 -0500 Report

GBee, sounds like you're going to have to write up quite a little list for your "boss" (Director of Nurses?) I'd type it up and print off 2 copies, 1 for the "Boss" and 1 for you. If Boss and the DON are not same person, you might want to have the DON at that meeting too, and then print 3 copies.

Did you have a RN available to you? Did that RN have a glucometer to check the resident's BG#s? If not, then I suspect they would be subject to A JCAHO violation if it were known.

Praying you will be able to continue to be a blessing to those people with memory problems.


Graylin Bee
Graylin Bee 2011-05-15 17:47:04 -0500 Report

Boss is the nurse. At night the QMAP is the person in charge. There are three staff on nights. One other is also QMAP. I called them since they have worked there longer and they came to the room. Neither knew if she has had other BG lows or highs. But they at least had seen her more than I had. They followed my lead. If she hadn't improved or got worse within an hour I would have called the boss at home for more info. I followed the proceedure from my last place. I haven't seen any glucometers. We might not be able to do the BG test even if there is a meter because of the way the state laws read. That's another one of my questions for the new boss. The law is pretty specific about what we can and cannot do. I read some Deptarment of Health violations at another facility because a CNA did BG tests without a Drs. order.

Graylin Bee
Graylin Bee 2011-05-15 16:05:55 -0500 Report

Meant to hit the j for jerking, missed and can't proof read very well today. Double vision is acting a little worse than normal.

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