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10 ways to offer diabetes support


We all know how exhausting living with diabetes can be – here are 10 easy ways to offer support to your diabetic partner.

Being a supportive partner can be both a gratifying and a challenging role – especially when living with a person with diabetes. Diabetes affects the whole family, not just the one taking medicine. We talk about this on our Facebook community a lot.

Want to know how you can help?

1.      Try to keep food temptations away and have healthy options at home.

Support the diabetic in your family by having everyone eat healthy. And don’t nag if they sometimes ‘cheat’ or stray from their eating plan.

2.      Make time to do exercise together

Lots of fun exercises can be done as a family. Make exercising regularly a habit for both of you.

3.      Remind your partner to see their medical team on a regular basis.

Help them set up a few questions to ask so they get as much as possible out of the visit.

4.      Set a reminder to have their monthly medication fetched from the pharmacy in time.

Encourage them to test their blood sugar often.

5.      Educate yourself about diabetes.

Learn as much as you can, from the right sources – Dr. Google is not always right!

6.      Learn to know the signs of hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) and what to do about it.

Know how to test your partner’s blood glucose if necessary, and how to inject glucagon in an emergency.

7.      If sexual problems arise, talk about it.

Counseling may help if one partner feels rejected, and there is medication for erectile dysfunction if it becomes a problem. Just ask!

8.      Look out for any signs of depression, mental fatigue or diabetes burnout.

Take action on these signs, as depression is not something that will heal itself.

9.      Respect your partner’s personal decisions.

This is sometimes very difficult, but you need to show your faith in them – diabetes is, at the end of the day, their condition.

10.  Help your partner maintain balance in their life.

Offer them a shoulder to lean on and help them to find solutions to their problems – but don’t try to solve the problems for them.

These are just some of the diabetes support tips Jeannie Berg, Diabetes Educator, has to offer. What would you add?

What to read next?

How to help during diabetes burnout: Diabetes burnout is unavoidable, when you’re living with diabetes. But how can you help during diabetes burnout? What can you offer someone you love who is struggling?

Diabetes distress and burnout: what to do about it?: Diabetes distress and burnout are a reality at some stage for everyone living with diabetes. Here’s advice on what to do about it – from a psychologist living with diabetes.

Join this mental health support group for young adults living with diabetes: SADAG recently launched a new support group for young adults living with diabetes. We had a chat with one of their co-facilitators, Courtney Sandham, to find out more.

Photo by Eye for Ebony on Unsplash

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2 Comments

  1. Frank khofi Frank khofi

    Hie,keep posting such information, we learn each and everyday,you are right (Dr Google is not always right)Thank you.

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Sweet Life is a registered NPO/PBO (220-984) with a single goal: to improve diabetes in South Africa. We are funded by sponsorships and donations from aligned companies and organisations who believe in our work. We only share information that we believe benefits our community. While some of this information is linked to specific brands, it is not an official endorsement of that brand. We believe in empowering people with diabetes to make the best decisions they can, to live a healthy, happy life with diabetes.