How to Help a Loved One Diagnosed With Diabetes
If one of your loved ones is diagnosed with diabetes, you’re probably wondering what you can do to help. It’s not easy for anyone to deal with the fact that they’ve got a serious medical condition.
Studies show that people are able to manage their diabetes better when they have support from loved ones. It helps them to know they’re not going through it alone.
Family and friends can lend a helping hand or shoulder to lean on at just the right moment.
Taking an interest in your loved one’s diabetes, whether type 1 diabetes or type 2 diabetes, is one thing; taking control is another. A take-charge attitude is rarely the kind of diabetes help your loved one is looking for.
Here are some helpful tips for providing diabetes support that work for everyone.
Ask if they’d like you to help with reminders
Your first instinct may be to become the “diabetes police,” reminding your loved one when it’s time to check blood glucose, exercise and to put down unhealthy foods.
But it’s better to ask if your support is truly needed to avoid rifts in the relationship. If they say no and you think they still need it, consider attending a doctor’s appointment with them, and find out from the healthcare professional whether or not they’re on target.
Ask what you can do
If you aren’t sure what you can do to help, ask. There may be something that hasn’t even occurred to you, and perhaps they’re afraid to ask. Assisting with little things like recording diabetes symptoms may actually be a big help.
If you do most of the cooking, it is a good idea to familiarize yourself with how to make diabetes-friendly, delicious, yet healthy meals that will help your loved one stay on track.
Show you care
Telling someone you care is good, but showing that concern is more powerful. Show you care with a hug or encouraging note, by really listening to the person’s concerns, by learning about diabetes, and by doing things together that you both enjoy.
Get support for yourself
If you’re in a caregiving position, it’s more important than ever to get support for yourself. You can join a diabetes support group for caretakers, or simply talk with someone you trust like a close friend.
Follow these guidelines to offer your loved ones constructive diabetes support, and be sure to keep the communication lines open. Ask them directly about the ways you can offer the most help, and take that feedback to heart.