Chapter 6: Maintaining Your Overall Health Notes for Family and Friends When someone you love has diabetes, it can mean big changes in your life. It’s likely that you will be called on as a helper, caregiver, or source of emotional support. Diabetes can be stressful for the whole family. Remember, taking care of yourself is just as important as taking care of your loved one. To Help Your Loved One It may be hard to watch someone you love cope with a chronic condition every day. You can help by: • Learning as much as you can about diabetes. This will help you understand why your family member is making so many changes. • Learning the signs of high and low blood glucose and how to treat them. Know when to call the health care provider in an emergency. • Learning to be patient. At first, diabetes management can be confusing or frustrating. Ask how you can be most helpful. To Help Yourself Caring for someone else can take an emotional toll on you. Don’t forget to make time to focus on yourself. This is not selfish! Your emotional health is important. Some of these suggestions may help: • Understand that some things are out of your control. You can be supportive, but you can’t manage your family member’s condition for them. • Take time to relax. See page 49 for techniques that you can use. • Ask for and accept help from others when you need to take breaks. Don’t feel guilty—we 58 all need time to ourselves. • Be aware of how you react to stress. If you become easily upset, stop for a moment. Take deep breaths, count to 10, or go for a walk to calm down. • Look for support groups for caregivers. Some of the resources listed on page 62 may help. Take a Quiz Congratulations! You’ve just finished this chapter. Now click on the “Take a Quiz” button to find out how much you have learned.
Living Well with Diabetes
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