Optimal care of people with diabetes in residential aged care facilities requires an integrated team approach, best co-ordinated by the person’s GP. Careful assessment, individualisation of HbA1c and other care goals, frequent review, maintenance of nutrition and mobility, safe prescribing and avoidance of hypoglycaemia are important components of care.
- Diabetes is a common disease that GPs will encounter in patients in institutional care, particularly residential aged care facilities (RACFs).
- Patients with diabetes benefit from a team approach to management.
- Effective use of Medicare-supported services, including telehealth, should encourage more GPs to manage RACF residents.
- The approach to diabetes management should be tailored to the individual people with and their situation.
- Institutions are not all the same: in-house staffing, supports and services vary and need to be well understood to manage chronic diseases well.
- In very elderly people with a short life expectancy, excessively tight diabetes control is inappropriate.
- Deprescribing can be difficult but should be considered for every older person with diabetes in institutional care.
Picture credit: © Solstock/iStockphoto.com. Models used for illustrative purposes only.