How to help an older person make a 180 in their diabetes management

my father is 78 a type 2. he has never had good control. his neuropathy is getting worse and worse. he takes metformin, but i am not sure of the dose. does anyone have ideas on how i can help him do a 180? i want to try do give him easy low carb daily menus. anyone have ideas? i don't think he has the organizational skills or motivation to take insulin. if he low carbs and takes metformin or maybe prandin, maybe he can at least stabilize, meaning he can live semi-independently.

One of my closest friends is 79. Like your father, she was suffering from neuropathy that was also getting worse and worse. Her's had started in her feet and had gradually crept up to her knee on "the threshold of pain" over the course of a couple of years. She is also on metformin but continues to be very active. In addition to her passion for daily gardening, she also spends 3 hours sessions at the gym at least three times per week. Her A1c had continued to climb gradually from the mid-5's to 6.4%. She is quite familiar with the more advanced complications that can develop having several friends who succumbed to renal failure. She is familiar with Dr. Bernstein's concept of normalizing blood sugars to halt and reverse complications. She also read that neuropathy as well as kidney disease could be reversed by normalizing blood sugars and, of course, knew of my own successful reversal of neuropathy by going on insulin on my own (when my doctors refused to prescribe it for me).

She then made the decision to start insulin on her own because her doctor also would not prescribe insulin for her. The two biggest obstacles involved fear of pain and the lack of knowledge on how to use it properly, effectively, and safely. She contacted me (I am a retired pharmacist) and asked if I would be willing to explain the ins and outs of insulin use. Our friendship goes back many, many decades so I agreed. I insisted that she re-read Chapter 7 of Dr. Bernstein's Diabetes Solution book as well as Jenny Ruhl's discussion of insulin use on her BloodSugar101 website. My friend already had Kindle copies of both books but here are online links to free chapters in case anyone doesn't own the books but is interested:

Long story short: I insisted that she let her doctor know that she had started insulin at her next appointment which was approximately three months after she had started insulin use. Her A1c results had dropped back down to the five percent club (5.6) and, based on fasting and postprandial BG tests, is continuing to fall. The best part of her experience is that her neuropathy has receded and is now down to her feet only (below the ankles) and continuing to fade.

I know that you stated that your father is probably not a candidate for insulin use but all evidence (anecdotal as well as the experiences posted by Dr. Bernstein) show that complications can be reversed by lowering blood sugars to normal levels, even kidney disease. My 79-years-old friend is sharp mentally and is well above average in physical health so she was able to handle the transition to insulin use solely on her own (after some coaching and instruction from me). In our state (and probably most others), regular and NPH insulin is available OTC without a prescription. However, both types of insulins can provide adequate control when used properly (timing of dosages is key). Your father may no longer have sufficient beta cell function to produce adequate insulin for his metabolic needs and short of a starvation diet (popular before insulin was discovered), insulin may hold the key to his own 180.

your friend is mentally sharp. my father struggled to get through high school. he thinks he is doing fine and blames the numbness on other things, like side effects from the flu shot, etc. he likes to blame others for his problems. so there are multiple obstacles. but i am still willing to try a few things since, as you say, neuropathy can be reversed. he says he is keeping his blood sugars in good ranges now (below 136), but maybe he is just testing before a meal. he never used to test. so one thing i am going to do is go over to his house (15 min away) and see what he eats and then encourage him to test. i need to be right there. another thing i need to do is maybe steer him to dr. bernstein's videos on youtube. my father might be able to absorb the information better that way, i think those videos might be key in helping older people whose reading comprehension skills are not up to absorbing book info. never mind being old, some people just absorb info better by listening/watching.

thanks for helping me and others!!!

PS what kinds of insulins do you use now? are you still using OTC ones? if so, i have heard they are more difficult to use. you are a retired pharmacist, so i think you are probably pretty meticulous. not everyone is like that, as you know.