Caring for Someone with Diabetes
The more you know about diabetes, the more you can help someone manage their condition. The person you support will have a doctor-recommended diabetes care plan. Your goal is to help the person follow this plan.
Diabetes Care Plan
A diabetes care plan includes:
- A meal plan: Helping your loved one learn how to balance what, when, and how much to eat can help him or her make smarter choices. Healthy eating is good for everyone. Eating healthier along with your loved one may help you see some benefits as well. Start small. Try to make 1 or 2 changes at first, like eating brown rice instead of white.
- A plan for physical activity: It is important that your loved one find ways to get active, but that doesn’t mean he or she must join a gym. There are many ways that you and your loved one can add more physical activity to both of your daily routines. Again, start small; even little increases in activity like going on walks can make a big difference. Be sure your loved one speaks with his or her doctor before starting an activity plan.
- A plan for taking medicines: If your loved one starts medicine, you can help him or her stick to the treatment plan as prescribed by the health care provider. There are different types of treatments for diabetes, and learning more about them is another way to get more involved in helping your loved one follow his/her diabetes care plan.
- A plan for checking blood sugar: You can encourage your loved one to track his or her blood sugar levels on a regular basis to help identify patterns. Recording numbers can help the health care provider know how well the treatment plan is working.
Making a care plan for you
Caring for someone with diabetes can also be stressful at times. It’s important for you to create your own care plan to help you. Here are some things that should be part of your own care plan:
- Manage stress: To deal with stress, there is a lot you can do. Make note of the things that stress you out. The earlier you can identify stress triggers, the sooner you can take action like taking a walk or taking deep breaths.
- Keep up with your health: Don’t neglect yourself. It’s important that you have a plan for keeping up with your health as well. Be sure to make and keep appointments with your health care provider.
- Make time for yourself: Remember to make time for yourself. You may begin to feel like most of your time is dedicated to your loved one. Try setting aside a time in the day to do something that you love like reading a book or working on a hobby. Remember, this is your time so try not to let anything interrupt it.
- Communicate with your loved one: Try to take time out each day to talk to each other about how you both are feeling and coping.
- Ask for help: You are not alone. Don’t be afraid to ask for help from family and friends or find a support group. At a support group, you can share your feelings about being a care partner. And you can help others by listening to their feelings.