Managing diabetes is an uphill climb.
Diabetes affects millions of people in the U.S., but its impact goes far beyond that. It affects everyone—family, friends and loved ones.
When a family member, especially a child, is diagnosed, it sends an emotional shockwave. What are the medical costs? What about getting proper care? How can you help manage diabetes at school? Suddenly, you have the world on your shoulders. But you also have support. There are countless ways to help your loved ones live a healthy, happy life. Reach out and ask for help: we have it for you here.
Talk to a health care provider
Too often, it can be hard to know where to start when you find out someone you love has been diagnosed with diabetes. Ask your healthcare provider what you can do to keep your loved one safe and healthy. Reach out to other parents or family members who have been impacted by this disease. You are now part of a worldwide community. And asking for help is the first step in supporting your loved one’s journey to health.
Parents: it’s a challenge you can meet head on
Hearing that your child or loved one has diabetes can be a shock. But after that shock wears off, know that there are plenty of things you can do to help along the way. Sure, daily life with diabetes can be a challenge, but it’s a challenge you can meet head on.
With planning and preparation, you can get back to daily life and resume your routine activities. You can help make physical activity part of every day. You can create a balanced eating plan for your loved one—one that everyone can live with and thrive on. Throughout it all, know that diabetes can’t keep your loved one from doing whatever they want or achieving their highest goals. There are Olympic athletes with diabetes, as well as professional football players, politicians, actors, rock stars and CEOs. So, take a deep breath. You can do so much to make sure the people you love are thriving as they manage their diabetes.
Don’t miss out on camp.
Keep them safe at school
When you’re a parent, you feel like you can keep your children safe as long as you’re with them. For parents of children with diabetes, that feeling is even louder. That’s why our Safe at School® campaign works to make sure that the diabetes management needs of students are met so your children are healthy and safe when they are at school and out of your sight.
By working as a team, families, health care providers and school staff can make sure that your child is being taken care of. Through Safe at School, newly diagnosed children can depend on school staff to monitor their blood sugar and administer insulin. In addition to that, there can be trained school staff on hand who can recognize and treat high and low blood sugar and administer emergency glucagon.
Keep talking about it
When someone you love is diagnosed with diabetes, it’s natural to focus on the physical part of the ailment—because you have plenty to keep up with. But a key part of managing this disease is making sure everyone is open about talking about their fears, frustrations and hopes for the future.
As your child matures, their entire emotional terrain will change and diabetes creates a complication throughout that shift. Make sure they have someone to talk to. Make sure you share as much as you can with them and other members of your family as well. And, if you get stuck, reach out to your community or to a counselor, because they can help you identify emotions and fears and help everyone in your family express themselves more fully.
Keep living life
Life goes on, and having diabetes shouldn’t change what your child does. Here are some planning tips:
- Before extended trips away from home, schedule a doctor’s visit to ensure all medications are current. Get written prescriptions for insulin and other medications in case any are lost, and send along a doctor’s letter with treatment instructions.
- If you are looking for babysitting, consider teenagers in families like yours who are familiar with diabetes.
- Plan ahead for birthday parties, holidays or restaurant visits. You can communicate to party hosts about special needs ahead of time, or check restaurant menus before going.