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Helping a Loved One Cope With Diabetes

What are some ways to help a loved one with diabetes? continued...

If it's difficult to talk with your loved one about diabetes care, see if you can go to the next doctor's appointment with him or her. Then let the doctor lead the discussion of how you might be a help.

Some of the things you might do to help a loved one with diabetes include:

  • Remind the person to check blood sugar levels at regularly scheduled times. 
  • Help the person schedule the different doctor's appointments, and make sure there is transportation to and from the appointments. 
  • Offer to document signs and symptoms or other concerns for your loved one, and agree to discuss these concerns with the doctor. 
  • Prepare a plan together in case of a diabetic emergency or complications. 
  • Comfort your loved one and provide love and support when there are spikes or dips in blood sugar levels. Helping someone get control over blood sugar can be lifesaving. 
  • Offer to help the person with diabetes make the right food choices. 
  • Prepare food for the person with diabetes. 
  • Go with your loved one to a diabetes support group.

How can I help a loved one with diabetes if I live out of town?

Long-distance care giving is not easy. But you might consider getting a home health nurse to come to your loved one's home periodically to check on him or her.

The home health nurse is a registered nurse. The nurse will come to a person's home to provide health care, if requested by a physician, social worker, or hospital discharge team.

The nurse can help someone with a chronic disease by doing such things as:

  • Assessing vital signs
  • Taking blood pressure
  • Monitoring blood sugar levels
  • Giving injections
  • Helping with catheters or wound dressings

You'll need to find out if these home health services are covered by Medicare, Medicaid, or your loved one's supplemental insurance. Medicare covers some home health services and personal care for many health problems. Every situation and diagnosis is different, so you'll need to let a medical professional guide you.

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If the level is below 70 or you are experiencing symptoms such as shaking, sweating or difficulty thinking, you will need to raise the number immediately. A quick solution is to eat a few pieces of hard candy or 1 tablespoon of sugar or honey. Recheck your numbers again in 15 minutes to see if the number has gone up. If not, repeat the steps above or call your doctor.

People who experience hypoglycemia several times in a week should call their health care provider. It's important to monitor your levels each day so you can make sure your numbers are within the range. If you are pregnant always consult with your health care provider.

Congratulations on taking steps to manage your health.

However, it's important to continue to track your numbers so that you can make lifestyle changes if needed. If you are pregnant always consult with your physician.

Your level is high if this reading was taken before eating. Aim for 70-130 before meals and less than 180 two hours after meals.

Even if your number is high, it's not too late for you to take control of your health and lower your blood sugar.

One of the first steps is to monitor your levels each day. If you are pregnant always consult with your physician.

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