The constant support and encouragement from family members acts as a magic potion for diabetics. With family support, a diabetic can adhere to their medications better and stay mentally strong and healthy. Diabetes care demands financial and mental attention. As family members, it is important to understand the state of mind of your diabetic loved one and offer comforting guidance to keep them positive.
More than knowing what to do, it is more important to know what not to do. Let’s take a look:
- Avoid playing a doctor to your diabetic family member unless you are qualified as one. Many beliefs about diabetes which are followed in society are already outdated and will only confuse the person.
- Avoid comparing them with your other family members who have diabetes.
- Don’t stare while the diabetic patient is pricking fingers to take readings or taking insulin injections if you panic a lot. It is difficult for the diabetic patient to go through this procedure; don’t make it worse for them.
- The most helpful thing you can do for them is to stop giving them orders. There are times when the person will not obey the diet, lifestyle or medications prescribed. Try to be gentle with them.
- Keep asking how you can help them. Don’t make them feel like a severely ill patient. Instead, ask them if they want to visit the doctor or have a healthy diet.
- Make them feel empowered by showing them your care. Give them an encouraging hug or gift them something for their small achievements. Sit and listen to their concerns and help them learn more about diabetes.
- Become their diabetes buddy or partner and offer to join them for a walk or a quick outdoor game. Suggest opting for lunch or dinner that offers a healthier choice in a restaurant. Join in with them in their healthy diet and lifestyle changes for better involvement from their end in doing the same.
- Help them understand that managing diabetes is an all-round commitment.
Similarly, monitoring blood glucose levels with your compact glucometer is the most essential part you can help your family member understand. Dealing with a diabetic family member should be carried out gently and politely, because no one wants to be treated like a patient in the first place.
Lastly, help your diabetic family member become self-sufficient in diabetes care by connecting them to their personalised diabetes educator. You may also learn a lot of new things in the process. Sometimes your own views may differ with the diabetic family member. Hence, be careful not to hurt their sentiments while bridging the gap in such a case.