Having a loved one with diabetes can feel overwhelming sometimes, but here are some tips to help them and reduce stress all around.
Give them space but help them cope.
With a loved one’s new diagnosis it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by all the new information and scared for them. While they’re important to you, they likely need time to process the information themselves before answering questions or coming up with a management plan. Remembering that this is about them, not about you is important.
However, it’s great to support them through the processing, like encouraging them to seek help or support groups if they’re having trouble coping and offering to attend doctors’ appointments if they’re nervous or worried about information overload.
While they might need time to come to terms with their new reality, they’ll appreciate the support you show when they’re ready for it.
Make it a team effort
Diabetes can feel isolating. While you don’t want to hover and or harp, it’s helpful to have a second set of eyes in emergency situations, as well as simple daily routines where it’s easy to forget stuff. Understanding diabetes basics is a great way to learn the best ways to support them.
Packing a lunch? Remember to label that extra box of raisins or jellybeans as “emergency hypo snack” so they have something readily available for any low blood sugar emergencies. Going to the beach? Remember a cold pack if they’re an insulin user. Making lifestyle changes for their health? Consider how you can support them with that like offering to go on daily walks.
Another helpful way to keep an eye on your loved one is with blood glucose testing solutions that allow for caregiver alerts. Solutions like the Pops Rebel+Mina allow caregivers to set up notifications and alerts for high or low numbers, as well as other alerts. For folks who are new to testing, it’s great to have a gentle reminder from a loved one to remember to check their blood sugar.
Treat them like normal
Some blunt but helpful tips that we’ve received from our community members:
While diabetes complications are scary, modern technology and proper management decrease the rate of complications. Supporting their health journey and encouraging them to manage rather than focusing on everything that can go wrong is the best way to make them feel cared for, but still like a regular person.
Just like understanding your loved one’s moods can be a helpful way to mitigate problems without calling them out, understanding the ins and outs of diabetes can help you address issues like lows or finding places to eat without making it feel like a big deal.
Dealing with a diabetes diagnosis is a complicated thing, but there are so many ways to support your loved ones and ensure they don’t feel alone.
You’ve got this.
We’re all in this together.