Individuals with diabetes require continuous support from family and friends. Help from your loved ones is important for controlling diabetes. In addition to needing someone to teach you about diabetes, you need someone to be there for you if you become depressed, angry, or frustrated. You can also benefit from their encouragement when you achieve health goals.
Family-Centered Diabetes Management
The Midwest Latino Health Research, Training, and Policy Center (2017) suggests that family participation can help you make the needed changes in diet, exercise, self-management, and medical care. They offer the following ideas to mobilize family and friends, or even neighbors, to participate in your diabetes self-management journey:
- You and your loved ones can all benefit from exercising and eating healthy. These could become lifelong health behavior changes for the whole family.
- Tell them about your journey, such as what you have learned about diabetes and what you will need to do from now on to change your life and improve your health.
- Practice healthy eating and exercise with family or friends, not just because of diabetes, but because it can improve your overall health.
- Plan your meals. Select, purchase, and cook foods that are healthy for the entire family.
- Inform your family about the medications that you take. Ask them to help you remember medication times.
- Teach your family how to use the glucometer to check your glucose levels.
- Instruct them about what to do in case of an emergency. Share the emergency telephone numbers.
Finally, keeping a positive attitude is important. Do not hesitate to seek support and help from family, friends, health professionals, and health promoters. Indeed, involving loved ones can help you live better with diabetes.