How to Care for a Family Member with Diabetes

How to Care for a Family Member with Diabetes

Do you have a family member with diabetes? Diabetes requires them to make significant changes to their lifestyle and becomes a part of their everyday life. Dealing with a serious condition may be difficult for some people. You can make a significant impact in their life by offering to help them manage their symptoms and live a healthy lifestyle. 

Do Your Own Research

One of the simplest ways that you can help them is by researching and learning about the condition. The more you know about how to manage it, how to monitor their blood sugar, and what changes they need to make, the better prepared you are to help them. Supporting them physically, mentally, and emotionally will drastically help them. Learn to look for signs of any problems. If they are easily irritated or cranky, their blood sugar level may be too high (Hyperglycemia) or too low (Hypoglycemia). Signs of high blood sugar include: constantly thirsty, frequently urinating, and feeling tired, while signs of low blood sugar include: feeling tired, yawning, having little energy, pale skin, and losing consciousness. Learning to recognize these signs will give you the ability to help manage their blood sugar and prevent serious problems. 

Adopt their Diet 

In order to effectively manage diabetes, it is crucial that they eat healthy. If you live in the same house as your family member, purchase healthy foods and avoid buying and eating foods that they cannot have. Avoid foods that are high in fat, cholesterol, salt and added sugars. Include fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean meats and fish in their diet. This article lists the best foods for Diabetes and which foods to avoid. Cooking for them or cooking together is a great way to show them you care and spend time together. 

Encourage Regular Exercise 

Studies show that you are more likely to exercise if you are working out with someone. Encourage their healthy lifestyle by practicing accountability and exercising with them. Regular exercise is important for people with diabetes to improve their blood circulation, manage their weight, and improve their overall health. Make sure to check their blood sugar before, during, and after exercise to ensure that their blood sugar level is safe for physical activity. It is important to consult their doctor on the best types and frequency of exercise for their lifestyle. 

Check their Feet 

People with diabetes can suffer from neuropathy, or, the damage of the nerves in their feet and legs. Neuropathy can cause pain, making normal activities difficult, and can cause numbness, making it hard for them to tell if something is wrong. If they experience numbness, they are less likely to feel heat, cold, and pain in their feet. Due to poor circulation, those with diabetes may find that cuts and bruises take longer to heal. It is crucial that they frequently check their feet and legs for cuts and blisters to prevent an infection or other serious health problems. You can help them by checking their feet, making sure their toenails are trimmed and ensuring they are wearing protective shoes. Diabetic or compression socks can also help protect their feet and improve leg health. We list the differences between Diabetic socks vs. Compression socks in our blog to give you the most knowledge of the best option for your family member. 

Talk to their Doctor

Diabetes can cause several serious medical complications. Regular doctor visits will ensure that your family member is staying healthy and managing their diabetes properly. Talk to their doctor about any symptoms or problems that they may be having in order to prevent any further issues. Check up on them regularly by asking how they are doing, and look for any signs that they may be experiencing problems. Help them stay on top of their health by keeping a schedule for their doctors appointments, offering to go with them, and reminding them to get their flu shot and any other vaccines recommended by their doctor. 

Support from family and friends can make a big difference in effectively managing diabetes and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. If you have a family member or loved one who is living with diabetes, show them you care by helping them stay healthy and active, managing their medicine, and being a part of their life. 

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