There are nearly 1.5 million people in America who are diagnosed with diabetes every year, and those numbers continue to grow. It’s a severe condition that demands constant attention. If you’re a caretaker for someone living with diabetes, it can be hard knowing what exactly to do day-to-day to help them manage. In this blog post, we outline 4 tips that will help you take care of the person you love while maintaining your own health as well!
Get Educated on the nuances of diabetes and what different symptoms and signs there are. Do you know the different terminology that is used to describe blood sugar levels? Do you know the difference between hypoglycemia and hyperglycemia, or what each of those symptoms is that manifest because of high or low sugars?
It is very important as a caretaker that you learn as much as you can because it will help you to take care of the person in your life living with diabetes. You’ll know which symptoms are cause for worry, and what blood sugar levels mean if they’re too high or low (and how to fix them).
Once you have a good understanding of the basics of diabetes then you can work on understanding why your loved one is doing certain things with their diet and lifestyle. How does what they eat impact their blood sugar levels? Why do some people feel the need to snack all day while others can get away without eating very much at all?
What kinds of activities are good for someone who has diabetes compared to those same activities if you didn’t have diabetes? It’s a good idea to know the answers to questions like these, so you can help your loved one live as healthy and full of life as possible.
Be a Partner
People who have diabetes frequently struggle with feeling left out of things. Having to keep track of their blood sugar levels and what they eat, combined with the fact that their body needs insulin injections sometimes makes them feel like no one understands.
As much as possible if you can eat the same kinds of foods and do the same kinds of activities that your loved one does, you will help them feel like they’re not alone in this journey.
Simple things like going to the gym together, cooking meals for each other, or taking a walk around your neighborhood are easy ways to show someone you care.
When you show your commitment to someone you love it will help them to take care of themselves because you’re a reminder that they’re not alone, and you want to help them be successful.
Take Care of Yourself Too!
If you don’t take care of yourself, it’s very difficult to take care of anyone else. It is important that you make time every day (or at least most days of the week) to eat healthily, get some exercise in, and make sure that you are able to take care of yourself.
Everyone is different but find the things that make you feel good and make time for them. This can be as simple as taking a walk, reading your favorite book, or cooking yourself a healthy meal (make sure to share it with someone else too!).
Self-care is an important part of being a caretaker because you have to be able to take care of the person you love as well. When you keep yourself healthy, you’ll not only be happier yourself but you will be a much better caretaker for the person in your life living with diabetes.
Know Your Medical Team
Along with all of those other things that we’ve talked about here today to help you take care of someone who has been diagnosed with diabetes is to know as much as possible about their medical team from their primary care provider, dietician, pharmacist, dentist, and even the optometrist.
All of these people play a part in helping you to take care of your loved one with diabetes and it is important that they know as much as possible about what’s going on between you two so that everyone can work together. Diabetics have very specific needs and you want to make sure that everyone is on the same page about what those needs are.
Another benefit to working with and knowing the medical team is that it helps you to know that you aren’t alone when it comes to this responsibility. When you know that the people who are helping your loved one manage their diabetes have taken an interest in what’s going on, it can help you to take a little bit of stress off and put yourself at ease when dealing with them.
There are a lot of things that go into helping someone manage their diabetes and it can be a little bit overwhelming at times. But, the four tips we talked about today will help you to keep your cool when things get tough and hopefully make life just that much easier for both of you as caretakers!