Learn how to offer support to those afflicted with diabetes, so they can feel more empowered to manage their condition.
When people with diabetes have support from their loved ones, they can better manage
However, what is the best way to offer support? Sometimes it’s a fine line between caring and
nagging. It is not always easy to know what to do or say.
Myths and misinformation about diabetes are common. If your loved ones have diabetes, you can provide better support if you have accurate information about the condition.
Consider accompanying them if he or she is attending a diabetes education class.
One of the most important things you can do to help your loved one with diabetes is to listen to them.
Avoid making judgmental statements. Just focus on what they are saying. They are more likely to be open when they are not being judged.
Avoid giving advice, unless requested as unsought advice can damage your relationship.
People with diabetes can experience hypoglycaemia or low blood sugar (blood sugar less than 4.0 mmol/L) when they use insulin or certain oral medications.
Learn about the signs and symptoms of low blood sugar, how to treat it when it happens, and how to prevent it from happening.
A diabetes diagnosis is a chance for everyone in the family to make lifestyle changes together to be healthier.
For example, stop buying unhealthy snacks for the home. If you and your loved ones eat out at a hawker centre, make a decision to order healthier options. If you are going to someone’s home, check ahead to help ensure there are healthy food and drink choices available. Discuss with the host on behalf of your loved ones, and avoid discussing it in front of the person with diabetes during the visit.
Your role is not to be the food police but to support healthy choices, which can include a piece of cake every now and then. Plan for such occasions and go ahead to enjoy together once in a while.
Too much stress can raise blood sugar levels and make it harder to manage diabetes. Encourage your loved ones to talk about feelings and frustrations.
Try doing things together like walking, gardening, watching a funny movie or attending a diabetes support group.
Use creative ways to manage stress. Manage life problems together, have a positive mindset, and learn good problem-solving skills.
Remember that the person with diabetes is responsible for managing it, not you.
Living with diabetes can be difficult. By having the positive support of family and friends, they are better able to make the best possible choices about their diabetes.
Sometimes less can be more. Know when to give your loved ones the space to reflect on their own, and make mistakes.
Be sensitive if they are experiencing any diabetes distress or burnout from managing it. Learn what the signs are, and gently encourage them to seek help instead of blaming or scolding them for poor management.
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