We know caregiving isn’t easy, yet you are doing an excellent job being a carer. Having the right caregiver and a robust support system in place goes a long way in managing blood sugars and limiting complications. Caregiving is a crucial part of diabetes care and management that we seldom speak about.
Most people who become carers have this question – “Am I doing everything right?” Some even nurture a secret guilt that they might be the reason behind one’s soaring blood sugars (usually moms or wives in charge of the family’s meal preparations). But despite your concerns and self-doubt, the fact remains that – you still cannot stop being a caregiver. It could be overwhelming at times and self-straining too, we understand this.
So, today we thought of talking about the “silent soldiers” of diabetes management and extending little help to them.
Caring should be guilt-free and not guilt-ridden. If your loved one is diagnosed with diabetes, know that it is not your fault. Even if you have been solely in charge of the house, being a mother/wife/son/daughter or whatever relation you have with your loved one – you are not the reason for his/her diabetes. It is a metabolic condition and affects different people differently. The food you eat and the lifestyle you live might not have altered your systems in a way it did to your loved one, and it is ok. Once you get the guilt out of your mind, caring and taking the necessary steps to help one deal with the daily dilemmas of diabetes becomes easy.
There is a famous saying by Hellen Keller – “Alone we can do so little together we can do so much.” You need to understand caregiving in diabetes calls for similar sentiments. It is not easy to opt for lifestyle changes, the cornerstone of diabetes management overnight. It requires help from the family, especially the primary caregiver. So, if you are a primary caregiver, ensure that you walk the walk with your loved one. Have meals together and eat the same food, go for a walk or jog together, practice yoga and be present when needed – during doctor’s appointments, medical tests etc. Remember, the idea is not to isolate the family member who has a tough time dealing with diabetes.
As we already said, caregiving isn’t easy. There could be situations that could test your patience and maybe your love too. For example, people living with diabetes can show signs of depression, anxiety and exhibit mood swings due to fluctuating blood sugars. At times you might be at the receiving end of one’s anger. Garner patience at these times – know it is not the person but the underlying condition. This is tricky, but patience forms the core pillar of caregiving. So, develop patience and if you aren’t good at being calm – try meditation or listening to music that keeps you in a good mood for such days.
One ignored aspect of caregiving is – being a good listener. Listen more and talk less, in that way, you can gauge what your loved one is feeling and what you can do to help. If your loved one is not good at talking at length about their condition or feelings, try asking open-ended questions – Was the tea too sugary for you? Why didn’t you check your blood sugars today? Their answers will help you know their condition better.
Caregiving is not about giving pills on time and accompanying them to the doctor’s clinic. It also means being able to foresee any undue situation. This is one reason you need to educate yourself about the condition. Like you should know the signs of hypo or hyperglycemia to help your loved one take the necessary steps to avert any danger. Being a proactive caregiver also means being vigilant with your loved ones – like checking if the diets prescribed are doing them any good (making them weak or energetic) or are they straining themselves with their workouts. This helps to avoid pitfalls in your loved one’s diabetes management journey.
Being a primary caregiver can be tiring and stressful. So ensure that you also have secondary caregivers – friends, kids, maids or even your neighbours. So, if you need a break or have to nurse yourself during sick days, your loved one is still cared off.
Remember that you cannot ignore your mental health by being a caregiver. You need to fill your cup and fill it often if you need to be a giver. So, don’t forget to do things that make you happy and ensure you enjoy your me-time too.
Sometimes, for a person with diabetes being in a community group helps assure that they are not alone. But try to get involved in the community group with your loved one. This will also help you connect with other carers looking to share and connect. This can give you a huge emotional advantage to be a better carer in so many ways.
While caregiving is just one part of the journey, managing diabetes in a planned, structured and scientific way is also crucial. At Fitterfly, we have designed a unique diabetes care program – Diabefly that helps one manage or even reverse diabetes. Our program takes a holistic approach to cater to all the problems related to your loved one’s blood sugars – nutrition, physical fitness and stress management. We understand that diabetes management needs to be an integrated effort. Therefore, our experienced coaches will help draft a personalised plan for your loved one that keeps their body type, level of fitness and stress levels into consideration.
We hope you found this content useful. What if you got tailor-made advice from experts to help manage blood sugar, whenever and wherever you need it? Someone you could work with closely to get your blood sugar to healthy levels, to reduce diabetes symptoms and prevent complications?Enquire about Diabefly