Diabetes is a demanding disease to live with and manage, and it affects millions of people. In fact, about 37.3 million Americans struggle with diabetes. Managing this condition entails maintaining several habits, including watching one’s diet, checking blood sugar levels regularly, and taking the right medications to keep those levels steady. While it can tremendously help to support your loved one with diabetes, there is often a fine line between being helpful and controlling or pestering. There are various ways you can be supportive without admonishing someone or repeatedly telling them what to do. Here are five ways to care for your loved one with diabetes:
- Be proactive in learning about diabetes
Show initiative with learning more about the disease. There are many myths and misconceptions about diabetes that are essential to know if you are to help and support your loved one effectively. For instance, there’s a misconception that people with diabetes can never eat carbs or sugar, which is entirely false. Learning how diabetes works will make you better equipped to act in case of emergencies. It can also make you a better partner, sibling, or friend since you will be more understanding and empathetic of your loved one.
- Consult a healthcare professional
Another way to be proactive about understanding diabetes as a condition is by speaking to the experts. Perhaps you can tag along to a doctor’s appointment or consult professionals with healthcare credentials to learn more about diabetes. These experts have received years of training and experience in a rapidly growing healthcare field. These healthcare professionals may teach you about the basics of monitoring blood sugar, good nutrition, exercise benefits, and even foot and wound care for your loved one since this is an important indicator of diabetic health. Be sure to take note of their advice so you can be more able to care for your loved one with diabetes.
- Offer to do activities with them
Making healthy lifestyle choices is a big part of managing diabetes. It can significantly help your loved one if you also join in on activities that are good for their health. You can also choose restaurants that have a selection of tasty but healthy meals. This may even extend to self-care activities, such as gardening, yoga classes, or simply walking. By making similar lifestyle choices that are good for your loved one, you make it easier for them to take essential measures for their health and help them feel less isolated. These choices will likely benefit your health as well — a win-win!
- Learn how to monitor drops in blood sugar
People with type 2 diabetes may sometimes experience drops in blood sugar levels. This causes adverse effects such as fatigue, difficulty thinking, and feeling weak. Learn the specific symptoms your loved one experiences when their blood sugar drops along with the corresponding treatment. This may range from glucose tablets to fruit juices and even milk. Again, it helps to be familiar with what the doctors have prescribed. Be mindful of these symptoms and inform your loved one when you notice them; you may even catch their blood sugar levels before they do. It’s also good to discuss beforehand what to do in case their blood sugar levels drop because they may not be able to articulate the steps to take when it happens.
- Ask how you can help
Asking how you can help is the best and most direct way to know the actionable steps you can take. Start by asking for meaningful specifics and then commit to those actions. While it also helps to suggest, make sure you are not imposing what your loved one prefers. It's crucial that they maintain autonomy and independence with your care and support.
Post solely for the use of piplancets.comBy Ella Jordan