The following are some diabetes tips for family, friends and caregivers caring for an individual with diabetes:
- Create a list of medications being taken. Include dosage, frequency and symptoms so that there is no uncertainty or confusion.
- Be a role model. If a loved one is trying to be active and eat better, be a part of this process so they don’t feel like they have to do it alone.
- Stay positive and supportive. Remember, it may be difficult to make drastic changes to diet.
- Pay attention to what foods increase glucose levels more rapidly.
- Switch things up if necessary. If a particular activity or diet isn’t working, try being creative. Rather than cycling, try swimming or water aerobics. Are salads too boring for your taste? Add some spices or herbs for a kick.
- Once you find something that works, stick to it! This takes the guesswork out of care and increases the likelihood that a change will be adhered to.
- Be honest with your loved ones. If you are concerned for their health, let them know without lecturing them. Try appealing to their emotions rather than their logic because they may be more likely to make changes for your sake, if not for their own.
- If you require dietary advice and live in Ontario, you can call Eat Right Ontario at 1-877-510-5102 and speak to a registered dietician for free. Or find them at www.eatrightontario.ca