Know a bit about diabetes, so you know what to expect:
Diabetes is a chronic (ongoing, life-long) disease.
- It’s important to understand that diabetes can be a long-term disease that may not be cured
- Diabetes also comes with other potential health concerns and conditions that will need to be monitored and managed
Diabetes can be tough on the person who has it, and on the people around them.
- Someone with diabetes may find managing their disease challenging. They may get discouraged, feel overwhelmed, and not want to ask for help. In fact, Diabetes Canada reports that 1 in 3 Canadians do not feel comfortable letting others know about their disease at all
- You too, may feel discouraged or overwhelmed. But that’s okay. Take a deep breath and start with learning about how you can help. There are many resources online and in your community that can help you discover how to help your loved one
Don’t be afraid to ask questions, such as:
- How do you plan to manage your diabetes?
- Do you find managing your diabetes overwhelming?
- Are there things I can do to make managing your diabetes a little easier?
It’s also important, when possible, to talk with your loved one’s doctor and ask if they have any suggestions on how you can provide more help.
Some things you can do when you are caring for someone with diabetes include:
- Provide them with reminders about:
- Checking their blood sugar levels
- When to take their medication
- Upcoming doctor’s appointments
- Be a partner at their medical appointments:
- Offer to go to doctor appointments with them, to take notes and be a second pair of eyes and ears
- Bring a list of questions to consider asking the doctor during their next visit
- Eat well, and help your loved one do the same
To learn more about caring for someone with diabetes, Diabetes Canada offers programs and services for people affected by diabetes.
Don’t be afraid to offer help to your loved one and ask questions when you are unsure. Ask your loved one what would be helpful. And, take advantage of the support offered in your community.