Caregivers can be active partners in managing diabetes

Consider meal plans

Preparing a diabetes-friendly meal can be hard for some people with diabetes. Help your loved one make food choices that include a balanced mix of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins. Assist them with carefully measuring out their portion sizes, and have them go with you to talk to a nutritionist or dietician if their meals are leaving them hungry or unsatisfied.

Keep a travel checklist handy

Your loved one may forget important supplies on overnight or vacation trips. Remind them or help them to pack:

  • Blood glucose meter
  • Test strips
  • Lancing device and lancets
  • Alcohol swabs
  • Pen needles
  • Levemir® FlexTouch®
  • Glucose tablets
  • Glucagon kit
  • Other diabetes medicine

Help communicate with health care providers

Visits to a health care provider can be stressful for your loved one. When you go along you can help your loved one feel more at ease and make the appointment more productive.

Ask the health care provider to repeat anything that seems unclear to either of you. Remember beforehand to write down questions and concerns that you have about your loved one’s health problems or their treatment with Levemir®.

Use one of our Doctor Discussion Guides

Other ways you can help

  • Gently remind your loved one to check his or her blood sugar from time to time and to take his or her diabetes medicine
  • Stay active with your loved one. This may mean taking evening walks, engaging in sports, or finding other activities that you both enjoy. When you become active, that can encourage your loved one to do the same, especially if you’re staying fit together
  • Carry glucose tablets when you go out. The tablets are available at most pharmacies and are inexpensive. It’s better to be prepared if your loved one has low blood sugar
  • Recognize low blood sugar and be prepared to help. If your loved one starts becoming noticeably irritable, suddenly has cold, clammy skin, or starts shaking, he or she may be suffering from low blood sugar

    Have one of the following items on hand to give him or her to help raise blood sugar:
    • A glass of juice, regular (non-diet) soda, or another carbohydrate-containing drink
    • Glucose tablets or hard candies (not sugar free)
    • A spoonful of sugar
  • Have a glucagon kit available in case of emergencies. If low blood sugar is left untreated or not recognized, it can get bad very quickly. Your loved one could pass out or have a seizure. If that happens, he or she will need a glucagon injection or hospital treatment right away. Talk with your health care provider about getting and being trained on how to use an emergency glucagon kit
  • Encourage your loved one to wear a Medical Alert ID bracelet. These will let medical first-responders know that your loved one has diabetes and provide important contact information in the event of an emergency. Your loved one can also keep a Medical Alert card in a purse or wallet


Get more tools and tips to help a loved one manage their diabetes

Learn about the free resources available from Cornerstones4Care®