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Diabetes Health Center

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When Someone You Love Has Diabetes

You can do a lot to support your friends or relatives as they manage their diabetes.

Encourage them. It’s hard to have a serious medical condition.

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You’ll also want to learn the symptoms of low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) and high blood sugar (hyperglycemia), and what to do about them.

If you're the main caregiver for someone with diabetes, you can do even more:

  • Remind him to check his blood sugar levels on time.
  • Help to make and get to doctor appointments.
  • Offer to keep a record of her symptoms or other concerns, and agree to help her talk about it with her doctor.
  • Together, plan how to handle a diabetes-related emergency or complications.
  • Support him in making good food choices, and prepare healthy food together.
  • Go with him to a diabetes support group.

Help Manage Medications

People with diabetes need to take their medicines as prescribed. Sometimes, they may need a little help with that.

Make sure the person is able to give himself or herself the medication. Can he open the cap on the pill bottle or give himself insulin? Does she keep all her diabetes supplies in a convenient place?

If your loved one takes pills, capsules, or tablets, use a pill calendar. This plastic container has days of the week listed and is divided into parts of the day. You can get one at most larger pharmacies. Fill the pill calendar once a week or once a month, as needed. Check it regularly to see if they missed any doses.

It could be that your friend or relative doesn’t see well, and can’t read the prescription bottle. Make an appointment with an eye doctor (an ophthalmologist) for a vision checkup.

 

Get Support

Take care of yourself, too. If caregiving starts to become stressful, it helps to talk with someone you trust, whether it’s a friend, relative, or counselor. You may also want to join a support group.

To find one, ask your loved one’s doctor, or check with a local hospital or the American Diabetes Association.

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Michael Dansinger, MD on January 09, 2016

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