Three Easy Ways to Support Someone with Diabetes

We’ve got some tips that can help you support someone you love who has diabetes.

January 13, 2017 | HF Healthy Living Team

Do you love someone who has diabetes? Or do you have diabetes yourself and want your family and friends to better understand it? We’ve got three tips to help you manage this condition, whether you’re giving support or seeking it.

Learn More About Diabetes

One of the easiest things you can do to support yourself or a loved one who has diabetes is to learn more about it, including how people can better manage and live well with this condition.

You can read more about diabetes online at the American Diabetes Association® or the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene Diabetes page.

A support group or community program is another good option for learning more about diabetes and ways to cope—whether you have it yourself or want to help someone who lives with it. Find your nearest community program or support group here.

Want to test your knowledge of diabetes? Take this quiz now!

Ask How You Can Help

A simple way to find out what someone who has diabetes may need is to ask. Some example questions might include:

  • How do you feel?
  • How can I help? For example, Can I run errands for you, help you prepare food, make appointments for you, or take care of housework?
  • Can I help you set goals?
  • Can I help ease any pain?
  • Can I help you with your medicine? For example, Do you need me to help open your pill bottle, help you with your insulin, or help you to remember when to take your medicine?

Sometimes, just being listened to can help boost someone’s mood or ease depression.

If you have diabetes and need support, show your loved one this list of questions and tell them what you need from them. Don’t be afraid to ask.

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Help Your Loved One Eat Well and Exercise

One of the hardest aspects of living with diabetes is managing diet, which is essential to staying healthy with this condition.

To help your loved one eat right, make sure you encourage foods like vegetables, lean protein, fruits, and whole grains and discourage sweets or sugary desserts. Offer to help your loved one grocery shop, and be sure to bring along this sample shopping list from the American Diabetes Association® as a guide.

Regular exercise is also very important for people managing diabetes. To help your loved one get moving, find activities you can do together, like walking, biking, or dancing. Not only will it give you a chance to connect, but exercise can even help your loved one better deal with stress.

Diabetes can be hard to manage alone. When you have the support of friends and family—or when you offer to support someone you love who has diabetes—it can go a long way toward making this condition more manageable.

 

© 2017 HF Management Services, LLC.

Healthfirst is the brand name used for products and services provided by one or more of the Healthfirst group of affiliated companies.

This health information or program is for educational purposes only and not intended to treat, diagnose, or act as a substitute for medical advice from your provider. Consult your healthcare provider and always follow your healthcare provider’s instructions.

Sources
“How to Help a Loved One Cope with Diabetes,” National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. Accessed December 23, 2016.
https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/health-communication-programs/ndep/ndep-health-topics/help-cope-diabetes/Pages/publicationdetail.aspx

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