MCI diagnosis for person that is diabetic and is on the insulin pump

Posted by terryinsd @terryinsd, Jan 20, 2019

I am the caregiver for my wife. She was diagnosed at Mayo in November 2018 with mild dementia, amnestic type. She is a Type 1 diabetic and has been on insulin pump since 1996. She has some extreme highs and lows. Her endocrinologist doctor is recommending that she get on the continuous glucose monitor to help alert her when she is going high or low. She really doesn’t want to insert another device on her body. As caregiver I will need to assist her when the device gives warnings, etc. I have recently (last 3-4 months) started to assist with her pump. Has anyone had some experience with how a person with dementia handles both an insulin pump and a glucose monitor?

Hi @terryinsd and welcome to Connect. I can imagine your wife's reluctance to be dependent on yet another device, but equally I understand your concern about her ability to monitor her diabetes over time. I'd like to bring a few other members into this discussion who have experience caring for someone with both dementia and diabetes, @godlygal @tonialice @kdawn32 @sallysue.

Terry have you heard of the HABIT program at Mayo Clinic? HABIT stands for Healthy Action to Benefit Independence & Thinking® and is a 10 day program for individuals who have received the diagnosis of MCI and a partner. I think you might benefit from follow the Living with Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) page (blog) on Connect here: https://connect.mayoclinic.org/page/living-with-mild-cognitive-impairment-mci/

I'd also like to introduce you to @debbraw. She cares for her husband who has MCI.

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Hi @terryinsd – I want to add my welcome to Colleen's. The Connect community is a great place to come for support and advice. Great people with caring hearts here.

If you just got the diagnosis in November, I know you must still be reeling. My heart is going out to you. Are you struggling with finding a balance between providing the level of care needed while not taking away your wife's independence? Or is it more an issue of how to keep tabs and help her remember? I wish I could give you advice. My husband doesn't have diabetes or pumps, but I struggle with the basic issue of "helping vs. interfering" every single day on one subject or another.

My husband was diagnosed with Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) in 2015. We were so fortunate to be at Mayo and I'm glad you are too. As Colleen said, they have a program called Healthy Action to Benefit Independence & Thinking (HABIT) that was established to help people dealing with cognitive issues. If you are eligible, they run 10 day programs where both the patient and the partner attend to learn techniques for dealing with the cognitive decline. They will address the issue of remembering meds and keeping up with all kinds of critical daily life issues. The program was a real god-send for me and my husband. Getting a diagnosis is the first step so you are halfway there! If I were you, I would call your local Mayo number and ask for information on the HABIT program. They will get you started and if your experience is anything like mine, you will feel SOOO relieved – like you are no longer fighting this battle alone.

Here is the Connect Page dealing with the program:
https://connect.mayoclinic.org/page/living-with-mild-cognitive-impairment-mci/newsfeed/what-is-habit-healthy-action-to-benefit-independence-thinking/
I am wishing you the best and hoping that you will keep me posted on how things go.

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