A Loved One

Helping a loved one
with diabetes

What can I do to help?
You can help a loved one with diabetes by doing just that: by loving them!

Do you sometimes nag or tell your loved one what to do? If so, you may have become the "diabetes police." While it is easy to fall into the trap of being the "diabetes police," what your loved ones really needs is a "diabetes partner".

To be a "diabetes partner," try this:

  • let the person know you love them;
  • let them know you are willilng to help in any way they ask;
  • and then let go of taking responsibility for their diabetes!

4. Serve low-sugar foods for the whole family. We all need to eat less sugar. Serve such foods as sugar-free pudding, sugar-free Jello, and sugar-free drinks (sugar-free Kool-Aid or sugar-free lemonade). Keep a sugar substitute on the table. Try not to keep sweets in the house (it's too tempting for everyone, including the kids).

6. Offer words of encouragement! Use praise for all positive changes. Try these: Way to go! Super! I knew you could do it! I'm proud of you! You're on your way!
Isn't there anything else I can do?
Sure. Here are six easy things you can do:

1. Invite them to go walking with you. We all need exercise. Exercise for yourself and your loved one. And exercise can postpone or prevent diabetes. If you have a family member with diabetes, you are at risk of getting it yourself. So put on your walking shoes and do it for yourself and invite your loved one too!

2. Switch to diet pop instead of regular pop.
We all need less sugar. Regular pop has 9 to 12 teaspoons of sugar per servign! So you are getting lots of extra sugar that you don't really need. Eating and drinking less sugar is good for all of us, including our children!

3. Serve low-fat meals for the whole family. We all need to eat less fat. Eating less fat can help prevent or postpone diabetes, too! Serve more foods that are baked, broiled, steamed, or grilled. Cut the fat off the meat and take the skin off the chicken and throw it away! Serve more chicken and turkey, without the skin!

5. Make exercise and eating low-fat and low-sugar foods a way of life for everyone in the family. In the past, we thought that people with diabetes needed to exercise and eat differently. Now we know these ways are good for everyone, and can help prevent or postpone diabetes! By making these changes togheter, we can let our loved ones know they are not alone.

Be a "diabetes partner!"

Let people do things in their own time and in their own way. Have faith in them! In the meantime, you can be a role model for healthy living. Do it for yourself! You will be giving love and support to someone with diabetes at the same time!