Adaptive Techniques for Monitoring Blood Sugar

​​​​​​​​​​​If you’re living with vision loss, you may need to make some changes to the way you carry out your diabetes management. CNIB can work with you and your diabetes educator to modify your blood sugar monitoring process so you can continue to test and monitor your blood sugar levels successfully.

Lighting: You may find it helpful to bring a light closer to the blood sugar monitor (a headlamp or illuminated magnifier) or bring the monitor closer to the light (an adjustable task lamp) in order to better see what you’re doing.

Contrast: Setting out your monitoring supplies on a contrasting solid coloured, matte-finished background may improve the contrast and help you see the items more clearly. Many test strips for blood sugar monitors also have high-contrast features that can help you properly orient the strip before inserting it into the monitor. The blood sample can also be verified by placing it against a white paper towel, while the blood sample on the finger can be located by inserting it into a coloured reinforcement typically used for reinforcing holes in paper.

Organization: Checking your blood sugar monitoring within a confined space with only essential monitoring supplies can make organization much easier. A tray with a lip to hold monitoring equipment can also makes it easier to locate items and prevent things from scattering.

Tactile cues: Having notched, cut-out, raised or recessed areas on your blood sugar monitor can help you with orientation and placement. If you’re having trouble with sensation in your fingers, bringing your finger to your lip to search for the sensation of wetness can help you locate the blood sample on your finger.

Landmarks: Using landmarks on your fingertip – such as the top, middle and bottom of the fingernail and the first joint of the finger – may help you locate the blood sample more easily.

Markings: Either high-contrast or tactile markings on key features and controls or buttons can make equipment more accessible and easier to use. Bold permanent markers, bump dots, adhesive-backed foam and all-purpose tactile markers can be used to help items within your monitoring equipment stand out.

Writing aids: If you have low vision, thick-line paper pads and fibre tip pens (gel pens, 20/20 pens, sharpie pens) are just a few of the writing aids you can use to help keep track of your blood sugar.

Thick-line paper pads will allow you to track your blood sugar levels in a single place. Gel pens or 20/20 pens can aid you as well, as these pens create bold, dark lines that bleed less ink than regular pens.

These writing aids are available from a number of sources, including  CNIB’s online shop.

You might already have tools that can be adapted for low vision, so it’s a good idea to contact your local CNIB office to connect with specialists who can help you adapt your current tools and make them work for you.

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