Teaching about Healthy Habits
Tsering works as a nurse assistant for a home health care agency. She goes into the homes of individual clients who need help with activities of daily living (ADLs). Another important part of Tsering’s job is helping her clients understand how they can remain as healthy as possible.
Mrs. Johnson is one of Tsering’s clients. She is a woman in her 70s who recently developed type 2 diabetes. As part of her treatment plan, Mrs. Johnson is supposed to cut down on sweets and other foods that are high in fat. Mrs. Johnson, however, doesn’t like the changes that her doctors have suggested.
One day Tsering arrives at Mrs. Johnson’s house in time to prepare lunch. She asks Mrs. Johnson what she would like to eat. Mrs. Johnson says she would like a steak sandwich, potato salad, and some ice cream for dessert. Tsering knows that these are all foods Mrs. Johnson should avoid because of her diabetes. They contain too much unhealthy fat and sugar.
Tsering reminds Mrs. Johnson that she is supposed to be changing her diet in order to manage her diabetes.
Mrs. Johnson says, “I know, but I just don’t like all that health food.”
Tsering smiles and tells Mrs. Johnson, “It can be hard to make changes, but it’s important that you try to eat better so that your diabetes is controlled. Diabetes is a serious disease that can lead to many other health problems with your kidneys, eyes, and feet.”
Mrs. Johnson knows that Tsering is right. She has heard the same information from her doctors, nurses, and children. Tsering suggests that they have healthy green salads for lunch with fresh fruit for dessert. Mrs. Johnson agrees.
After they have finished eating, Mrs. Johnson says, “You know, that salad wasn’t bad. But I still like apple pie better than plain apples.” Tsering laughs and says she will try to find a recipe for sugar-free apple pie.