Often a loved one with diabetes can be helped to make the proper changes in diet and lifestyle, with the help of a friend or family member. Many care givers will ask for the best ways they can help. With a spouse having Type II and sons with Type I diabetes, I realize there is quite a bit of information on the disease and have plenty of personal experience in dealing with it. It is a challenging disease to handle on one’s own.
Here are some ways you can help the friend or relative.
- Let him or her know you are there for support.
Let the person know that you want to help and that you care about him or her.
- Learn about the disease.
- Find reliable books and to read on the internet. Escort the friend or loved one to diabetes education classes and to clinic visits.
- Voice your concerns.
- Let the loved one know that the illness affects you as well, on a different level.
- Avoid taking control.
The family member or friend is ultimately responsible for his or her are. Be a guide or mentor when asked for help. Avoid taking control and trying to make every decision. The person with the illness has to learn to take control over his or her own situation.
Making changes in eating and exercise habits is good for all family members. This means that the entire family should consider the following:
Family physical activities.
- All family members can benefit from taking a long walk or from a membership to the local gym.
- Eating healthy foods will benefit everyone, not just the person with diabetes. Because family members are also at risk of developing the disorder, eating right can become part of the preventive steps to avoid getting the disease in the future.
- Recognize when hurdles have been tackled and when the person with diabetes becomes successful in various management steps. Offer encouragement with struggles.
- Offer healthy treats and snacks when having a party. Consider the feelings of those with diabetes.
- If a person with diabetes appears sad or withdrawn, ask the physician about how you can make his or her life better. Find a support group, where he or she can share feelings and vent frustrations. Having access to a diabetes education professional is often helpful.
- Taking on the role of the primary care provider can be emotionally and physically exhausting, if the loved one does not take control or is not able to. If this role becomes overwhelming, you can speak with the physician or nurse about when getting outside help from a visiting nurse may be required.