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Looking out for someone with type 2 diabetes

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Discover some tips for being a good care partner. Or, share these with someone close. 

If you are helping someone you love manage diabetes, you are a care partner. Why do we say care partners? Because care partner means that you’re in this together.

So, what does it mean to be a care partner? It can mean helping your loved one with daily needs such as:

  • Picking up medicines
  • Reminding them to take their medicines
  • Going with them to visit the doctor
  • Preparing meals

It can also mean listening to your loved one when he or she needs emotional support and helping him or her cope with feelings. Sometimes, just having someone to talk to can be what people living with diabetes need most.

How to care for others

Follow these 4 steps for making a care plan.

plate of food
  1. Meals
    Help your loved one with diabetes learn how to balance what, when, and how much to eat. Eating this way can help you be healthier, too!

Start small. Try making some simple, healthy food swaps, like eating brown rice instead of white.

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5 pound weights
  1. Staying active
    Work together to develop an activity plan that fits into a daily routine. Be sure your loved one speaks with his or her doctor before starting an activity plan.

Start your activity plan by following these 3 simple steps:

Step 1: Talk to his or her doctor before getting started

Step 2: Help your loved one choose an activity. Start small, like going for a walk every day after dinner

Step 3: Set a goal and agree to meet that goal, together

insulin medicines blue
  1. Taking medicines
    If your loved one starts medicine, help him or her stick to the treatment plan as prescribed by the doctor. There are different treatments for diabetes, and learning about them is another way to get more involved.

Help your loved one put their treatment plan into action by tracking the medicines they’re on and the instructions they have for how to take them.

blood sugar monitor
  1. Checking blood glucose
    Encourage your loved one to track his or her blood glucoseBlood glucoseThe main sugar found in the blood, and the body’s main source of energy. levels on a regular basis to help identify patterns. Recording numbers can help the doctor know how well the treatment plan is working.

Help your loved one start a tracking routine by thinking of one thing they do every day that they can pair with checking their blood glucose, like making the morning coffee.

How to care for yourself

If you are one of the millions caring for someone with diabetes, you may be putting your own needs aside. But to take good care of others, you need to take good care of yourself.

How can being a care partner affect you?

As a care partner, you may think of yourself as “the healthy one.” But providing support for someone else can be hard on you. You may have trouble:

  • Getting enough sleep
  • Eating well
  • Being active
  • Finding time to make medical appointments for yourself

Just like your loved one has a care plan, you should also have one to take care of you. Here are some things you should consider when making your plan.

Follow these 5 steps to making a care partner plan.

  1. Manage stress: There is a lot you can do to deal with stress. Make note of the things that cause you stress. The earlier you can identify them, the sooner you can take action. Here are some stress‑busting ideas.
insulin medicines blue
  1. Keep up with your health: Don’t forget about yourself. It’s important that you have a plan for keeping up with your health. Be sure to make and keep appointments with your doctors. 
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  1. Make time for yourself: Try making time in the day to do something that you love like reading a book or working on a hobby. This is your time, so try not to let anything interrupt it. 
diabetes support 2
  1. Talk with your loved one: Take time out each day to talk to each other about how you both are feeling and coping.
text support
  1. Ask for help: You are not alone. Don’t be afraid to ask for help from family and friends or find a support group.

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Let’s take a closer look at insulin and non‑insulin treatments for type 2 diabetes including GLP‑1 receptor agonists.


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