When a loved one receives a diagnosis of diabetes, it can feel overwhelming. Fortunately, there are many effective treatments that can help your spouse, child, or family member living with diabetes. Your support and care can also be helpful as they navigate their diagnosis. Despite your initial feeling of overwhelm, there are several things that you can do to help as a caregiver.
Diabetes can seem complex. Learning more about it can help you better understand how to provide care and support. Going with your loved one on their doctors’ visits, attending educational courses, and consulting online resources can boost your diabetes knowledge1.
Ask your loved one how you can help and listen to what they say. They may want reminders or help with certain things (or may not). Be clear and upfront in your goals together. Simply being a support person can make a world of difference. Tell them you know how hard they’re trying. Point out how proud you are of their progress.
Sometimes diabetes calls for significant lifestyle adjustments. If your loved one needs to make changes to their eating plan, do it with them. Look for recipes and cook healthy meals together. You can also find ways to exercise together. Lifestyle changes become habits more easily when you make them together.
Your loved one may feel stressed out along their diabetes journey. Be patient as they get used to measuring blood sugar, taking insulin, and monitoring their meals. Successful diabetes management isn’t easy, and it may take time to get in a rhythm.
You also can’t do everything. Caring for someone with diabetes can be physically and mentally taxing. It’s important to know your own limits. Taking time and space as you need it will be helpful.
Diabetes impacts millions of people worldwide2. If you have other family members or friends who are living with diabetes, reach out and don’t be afraid to lean on their support. You can also work closely with your loved one’s doctor to provide safe and helpful support. You may also opt to connect with local support groups or online networking.
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