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Are you caring for someone with type 2 diabetes?

Caring for or living with someone with type 2 diabetes can be challenging. Because the disease often starts in adulthood, individuals may find it hard to adjust to needing help or to making changes to their lifestyle. It is important you identify the best way you can support them while taking care of yourself in the process.

If you are new to caring for someone with type 2 diabetes, start by learning about the disease and how to recognise type 2 diabetes complications

Creating a diabetes care plan

Once you get a better understanding of what can happen with diabetes, creating a care plan as a caregiver together with the person you support is a good place to start. You can write it together, with help from their healthcare professional if needed, to ensure you cover all the essentials. Your care plan could include:

  • Meals: Diet and type 2 diabetes are closely linked, so it is important to balance what, when and how much the person you care for eats, and to help him or her make healthy choices
  • Being active: Regular exercise  helps improve blood sugar control and avoid health complications. Help to make physical activity enjoyable and part of daily life
  • Medication: Help the person you support to stick to the treatment plan prescribed by their healthcare professional. Learn more about type 2 diabetes including metformin, DPP-4, SGLT-2, GLP-1 or insulin treatment
  • Checking blood sugar: Encourage and remind the person you care for with type 2 diabetes to check their blood sugar. Learn how you can help to monitor their blood sugar control
  • Taking care of yourself: Taking care of someone requires you to be in good condition, and this means prioritising your own needs too. Make sure you eat and sleep well, monitor your stress levels and reach out for support when you need it

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References
  1. National Diabetes Services Scheme. Caring for Someone with Diabetes. Available from: https://www.ndss.com.au/living-with-diabetes/about-you/carers/. Last accessed January 2022.
  2. Sami W, Ansari T, Butt NS, et al. Effect of diet on type 2 diabetes mellitus: A review. International journal of health sciences. 2017;11:65-71.
  3. WebMD. Diabetes: A caregiver's checklist for daily care. Available from: https://www.webmd.com/diabetes/diabetes. Last accessed: January 2022.
  4. Colberg SR, Sigal RJ, Fernhall B, et al. Exercise and Type 2 Diabetes: The American College of Sports Medicine and the American Diabetes Association: joint position statement. Diabetes Care. 2010;33:e147-e167.
  5. National Diabetes Services Scheme. Caring for Someone with diabetes (family and friends). Available from: https://www.ndss.com.au/wp-content/uploads/fact-sheets/fact-sheet-caring-for-someone-with-diabetes.pdf. Last accessed: January 2022. Last accessed: January 2022.

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