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Looking Out for Adults with Type 1 Diabetes

Looking Out for Someone with Type 1 Diabetes

Discover some tips for being a good care partner. Or, share these with someone close. 

Most adults with type 1 diabetes are used to managing it—they may have been handling it since they were quite young. So, you may wonder what your role can be as a care partner and how you can help.

There are many reasons why an adult living with type 1 diabetes could use your extra support. They may need help:

  • Tracking blood sugarBlood sugarOr blood glucose. The main sugar (glucose) found in the blood, and the body’s main source of energy. levels
  • Picking up medicines
  • Remembering to take their medicines or check their blood sugar
  • Visiting doctors
  • Preparing meals

Emotional support is also important. Sometimes, just having someone to talk to can be what people living with diabetes need most.

This page provides practical tips on how to be a care partner for an adult living with type 1 diabetes. You’ll also find links to other sections of the Cornerstones4Care® website that can provide information you need.

Getting up to speed on type 1 diabetes

Your loved one with type 1 diabetes probably has a lifetime of knowledge about living with this disease that you may not have. One way that you can be a positive care partner is to learn more about type 1 diabetes. The more you know, the more you will be able to help.

Get the facts about type 1 diabetes

Find out more about what happens in the body when you have type 1 diabetes, diabetes symptoms, and treatments.

Learn about the highs and lows

Learn to recognize the signs of low blood sugar and high blood sugar and what needs to be done to correct blood sugar levels.

Know what to do in case of an emergency

Your loved one with type 1 diabetes is well aware of what he or she needs to bring with them to handle blood sugar emergencies. Talk to them and their diabetes care teamDiabetes care teamYour diabetes care team may include: a primary care doctor, a diabetes and hormone doctor (endocrinologist), a registered nurse, a diabetes educator, a dietician, a heart doctor (cardiologist), a foot doctor (podiatrist), an eye doctor (ophthalmologist/optometrist), a kidney doctor (nephrologist), a dentist, a pharmacist, and a mental health professional. about what you need to know.

How to care for others

Follow these 4 steps for making a care plan

  1. Meals
    Help your loved one with diabetes learn how to balance what, when, and how much to eat. Eating this way can help you be healthier, too!

Start small. Try making some simple, healthy food swaps, like eating brown rice instead of white.

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  1. Staying active
    Work together to develop an activity plan that fits into a daily routine. Be sure your loved one speaks with his or her doctor before starting an activity plan.

Start your activity plan by following these 3 simple steps:

Step 1: Talk to his or her doctor before getting started

Step 2: Help your loved one choose an activity. Start small, like going for a walk every day after dinner

Step 3: Set a goal and agree to meet that goal, together

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  1. Taking medicines
    If your loved one starts medicine, help him or her stick to the treatment plan as prescribed by the doctor. There are different treatments for diabetes, and learning about them is another way to get more involved.

Help your loved one put their treatment plan into action by tracking the medicines they’re on and the instructions they have for how to take them.

  1. Checking blood sugar
    Encourage your loved one to track his or her blood sugar levels on a regular basis to help identify patterns. Recording numbers can help the doctor know how well the treatment plan is working.

Help your loved one start a tracking routine by thinking of one thing they do every day that they can pair with checking their blood sugar, like making the morning coffee.

Take care of yourself

If you are one of the millions caring for someone with diabetes, you may be putting your own needs aside. But to take good care of others, you need to take good care of yourself.

How can being a care partner affect you?

As a care partner, you may think of yourself as “the healthy one.” But providing support for someone else can be hard on you. You may have trouble:

  • Getting enough sleep
  • Eating well
  • Being active
  • Finding time to make medical appointments for yourself

Just like your loved one has a care plan, you should also have one to take care of you. Here are some things you should consider when making your plan.

Follow these 5 steps to making a care partner plan

  1. Manage stress: There is a lot you can do to deal with stress. Make note of the things that cause you stress. The earlier you can identify them, the sooner you can take action. Here are some stress-busting ideas.
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  1. Keep up with your health: Don’t forget about yourself. It’s important that you have a plan for keeping up with your health. Be sure to make and keep appointments with your doctors. 
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  1. Make time for yourself: Try making time in the day to do something that you love like reading a book or working on a hobby. This is your time so try not to let anything interrupt it. 
  1. Talk with your loved one: Take time out each day to talk to each other about how you both are feeling and coping.
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  1. Ask for help: You are not alone. Don’t be afraid to ask for help from family and friends or find a support group.

Looking for financial savings and support?

NovoCare® provides resources to help you understand your options and connect you to affordability support.

Visit Novo Nordisk Savings

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Where Healthy Meets Delicious

Dig into these diabetes-friendly AND tasty recipes that everybody at your table will love.


Getting Comfortable with Getting Active

Regular exercise can be a fun way to do something good for you and your diabetes.


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