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Help a Loved One with Diabetes

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Help a Loved One with Diabetes

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Help a Loved One with Diabetes

This tip sheet provides practical suggestions for helping loved ones with diabetes. It also lists organizations that can help.

In addition to a downloadable file (PDF) of the two-color tip sheet, an online only, black &white PDF version is available for ease of printing. Also available in Spanish.

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Last reviewed: 02/02/2012

There are many things you can do to help your loved one—a family member or friend—with diabetes. Use these tips to get started today.

Learn about diabetes.

There is a lot to learn about living well with diabetes. Use what you learn to help your loved one manage his or her diabetes.

  • Join a support group about living with diabetes. Check with your doctor, hospital or area health clinic.
  • Read about diabetes online.
    For help go to
  • Ask your loved one’s diabetes health care team how you can learn more.

Talk to your loved one about coping with diabetes.

  • What things are hard for him or her to manage?
  • What things are easy?
  • Does your loved one set self-care goals?
  • How does he or she stay on track to reach these goals?
  • How can you help with diabetes care tasks?
  • Does your loved one feel down sometimes?
  • What can you do to help him or her feel better?
  • Does your loved one talk to his or her doctor or other health care team members about feeling down?

Find out what your loved one needs.

Ask your loved one:

  • What do I do that helps you with your diabetes?
  • What do I do that makes it harder for you to manage your diabetes?
  • What can I do to help you more than I do now?

Find ways to help.

Nagging will not help either you or your loved one.
When you have found one way to help, add another way.

If it fits his or her lifestyle, you could offer to help your loved one

  • figure out how to manage diabetes in his or her daily life
  • keep track of visits to the health care team
  • make a list of questions for the health care team
  • go on a visit to his or her health care team
  • find where to buy healthy, low-cost foods
  • prepare tasty, healthy meals
  • find a safe place to walk or to be more active

Diabetes is a hard disease to handle alone.

You can have a big effect on how well your loved one copes with diabetes. Get started today.

Where to go for more help:

National Diabetes Education Program
1-888-693-NDEP (1-888-693-6337) or

For help with self-care goals, visit Diabetes HealthSense and click on Make a Plan.

American Association of Diabetes Educators
1-800-338-3633 or

American Diabetes Association
1-800-DIABETES (1-800-342-2383) or

Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
1-800-877-1600 or

National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases’ National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse
1-800-860-8747 or

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Diabetes
1-800-CDC-INFO (1-800-232-4636) or

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