Individual results may vary.
Whether you are helping someone manage his or her diabetes
full-time, or just offering
emotional support, you are a caregiver. As a caregiver, you should get to know all
you can about diabetes. You should also get to know how diabetes affects the person
you care for. As you observe them, you'll see how factors such as having low or
high blood sugar may affect their behavior, activity level, or appetite, among other
When caring for someone with diabetes, it's important to be firmly supportive. However,
you should also avoid being too aggressive when enforcing diabetes-friendly habits.
If your loved one starts to see you as the "diabetes police," it can lead to resentment.
This may make it more difficult for you to assist with your loved one's diabetes
Testing blood sugar levels
Because blood sugar levels are constantly changing, it is important to monitor them
often. If your loved one is not able to self-monitor, you should be checking it
for them. You can then help adjust his or her diet or activity depending on the
Diabetes meal planning
When preparing a meal plan for someone with diabetes, you should consider his or
her personal eating habits. Determine likes and dislikes as well as the individual's
regular eating schedule.
Among the important things to remember when preparing a diabetes meal plan are to
- Include the main food groups—vegetables, whole grains, fruits, dairy, beans, lean
meats, and fish
- Balance carbohydrates, proteins, and fats
- Bake or broil food rather than frying
- Limit portion size
You may want to consult with a dietitian or
nutritionist. These professionals can provide realistic goals, create
shopping lists, and provide recipes. They can also answer many food-related questions
you may have.
Talking to the doctor
There are many things you can do to help your loved one have productive visits with
his or her physician. Here are some ideas:
- If you can attend the doctor visit, do it. Your moral support will help, and you
can also help by taking notes so your loved one can focus on what the doctor is
- Print a Doctor Discussion Guide and
take it along to the visit
- Keep a list of questions that come up. You can bring it to your visit and ask the
questions in order of importance
- Keep a notebook about your loved one's condition to share with the doctor. You can
also use it to record the doctor's instructions
Caring for you
Your role as a caregiver is important to the one you are caring for. They depend
on you to help them maintain a healthy lifestyle and manage their diabetes. That
can be a lot of pressure.
Taking care of someone else can take up a lot of your time and energy. Keep in mind
that if you are not taking good care of yourself, you can't take good care of anyone
else. Be sure to give yourself the time you need to take care of yourself. You should
spend time with friends and family, exercise, and do all the things you normally
do to enjoy your life. If you feel yourself getting overwhelmed, you may even want
to take a vacation, if possible.