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
• 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
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.
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