Everyday Wisdom - The American Diabetes Association Helps Families Live Well with Diabetes

June 1, 2009

When a child is diagnosed with a chronic disease like diabetes, it affects the entire family in many ways – both big and small. How does a family deal with the range of emotions (such as worry, guilt, or anger) that come with every day family moments that are a normal part of a family's life; such as finding a babysitter? Taking a family vacation? Helping your child gain more independence as they head off to camp? Going on a date? Leaving for college?

The American Diabetes Association has compiled an easy-to-use resource of everyday wisdom to help families live happily and healthfully with these unique challenges. Everyday Wisdom provides helpful ideas for families of children with diabetes, complete with interactive games to help foster and build communication. This free toolkit is another helpful resource that the Association's Family Link provides to families of children with diabetes. The Association's Family Link encompasses a variety of touch points through which families of children with diabetes connect with the American Diabetes Association and its volunteers for ongoing support.

"As a medical professional, I see many family members who feel overwhelmed and isolated by the challenges that diabetes presents. It's also easy to forget that everyday moments related to school trips, vacations, and even relationships with siblings, spouses, and extended family members can be a major challenge when a chronic disease like diabetes is in the mix," says Lori Laffel, MD, MPH, Chair of the American Diabetes Association's Youth Strategies Committee. "We developed Everyday Wisdom to help families learn how to live with diabetes by providing common-sense solutions to everyday diabetes challenges as well as offering an interactive way to help your family work as a team to manage your child's diabetes."

With specific booklets for children with diabetes, teens with diabetes, their parents, and their siblings, Everyday Wisdom reaches out to multiple members of a family affected by a diagnosis of diabetes. Contents of this free kit address a wide range of topics including:

  • Helping your child tell others about his or her diabetes diagnosis
  • Training and educating babysitters and prepare for potential emergencies
  • Dealing with mistakes in diabetes care
  • Planning for away trips, sports and recreation
  • Transitioning into adulthood with major milestones such as driving and dating

The kit also includes an interactive card game for the family, an informational DVD, juggling balls, and the Diabetes Dictionary – all in an insulated lunch bag that's ideal for school lunches. This interactive toolkit was designed for kids and young adults with diabetes and their families.

Connecting families of children with diabetes with other parents, events and family resources for life-long support has been a major focus of the American Diabetes Association over the years. In addition to Everyday Wisdom, the resources available through Family Link include: Local Family Link Events, Diabetes Camp, Plant D (a safe and secure interactive online environment exclusively for youth with diabetes), Parent Mentors, Safe at School Workshops and tools, and other year-round connections. For more information about the many American Diabetes Association resources available to families through Family Link, visit www.diabetes.org/families.

To order a free copy of Everyday Wisdom call 1-800-DIABETES (1-800-342-2383) or visit www.diabetes.org/families. This toolkit was made possible through an unrestricted educational grant from Eli Lilly and Company

About the American Diabetes Association

Nearly half of American adults have diabetes or prediabetes; more than 30 million adults and children have diabetes; and every 21 seconds, another individual is diagnosed with diabetes in the U.S. Founded in 1940, the American Diabetes Association (ADA) is the nation’s leading voluntary health organization whose mission is to prevent and cure diabetes, and to improve the lives of all people affected by diabetes. The ADA drives discovery by funding research to treat, manage and prevent all types of diabetes, as well as to search for cures; raises voice to the urgency of the diabetes epidemic; and works to safeguard policies and programs that protect people with diabetes. In addition, the ADA supports people living with diabetes, those at risk of developing diabetes, and the health care professionals who serve them through information and programs that can improve health outcomes and quality of life. For more information, please call the ADA at 1-800-DIABETES (1-800-342-2383) or visit diabetes.org. Information from both of these sources is available in English and Spanish. Find us on Facebook (American Diabetes Association), Twitter (@AmDiabetesAssn) and Instagram (@AmDiabetesAssn)