Support your loved one with diabetes

couple cooking dinnerManaging diabetes can be a challenge. Those with diabetes must put extra thought into their diets, keeping track of appointments and staying active. Family and friends can help by providing day-to-day support and making lifestyle changes together. Here are some ways you can help your loved one to more successfully manage his or her diabetes.

Exercise together. Being active is important for everyone, but especially so for those with diabetes. Find an activity you can enjoy together so that exercise can be a fun, social activity rather than a chore. Your loved one will be more likely to stick with it.

Cook and eat healthy meals together. Start by shopping together for healthy foods. Your loved one may be more likely to select healthy foods if you shop together vs. shopping alone. Also try to keep healthy snacks on hand like chopped vegetables and hummus.

Accompany your loved one on medical visits. Your loved one may appreciate company attending doctor's appointments or diabetes education classes. Having you with them may make the experience less stressful and help them remember what was discussed.

Try to be considerate when planning events. Holidays can be especially difficult for people with diabetes. Providing diabetic-friendly holiday food alternatives can help your loved one feel like they aren't missing out.

Learn about diabetes. The more you know about diabetes the better you will be able to help your loved one every day. Also be sure to talk with your loved one about their specific diabetes needs.

Help your loved one find outside help if needed. People with diabetes face may unique challenges. If your loved one appears to be struggling with depression, addiction or other health concerns, encourage them to speak with a health care provider about it. You can also help them locate a diabetes support group in your area, which may provide support.

Ask for feedback. There may be things you do unknowingly that make it more difficult for your loved one to manage their diabetes. Be open to change and try to modify behaviors that interfere with your loved one's schedule or hinder healthy eating.

For more information on how you can help your loved one manage their diabetes, or to schedule an appointment with a diabetes specialist at Cheshire Medical Center, call 603-354-6570. You can also visit our Diabetes Care Network for educational opportunities and more!