12 Ways to Care for Someone with Type 2 Diabetes
If you know someone living with type 2 diabetes, you’re probably concerned about their health and well-being, but you might not know how to assist them properly. After all, how can you truly understand what someone with type 2 is going through when you’ve never experienced it yourself?
Caring for someone with type 2 diabetes requires patience and support — and there are a number of ways you can do this. We’re here to help with 12 ways you can support a loved one with type 2 diabetes. Keep reading to learn more!
1. Learn about life with type 2 diabetes
One of the most important things you can do when caring for someone with type 2 diabetes is to do your research. The more you understand type 2 diabetes, the more quality support you will be able to provide your loved one.
Although there is no way to fully understand what a type 2 diabetic goes through on a daily basis, learning as much as you can about the condition is a good place to start. Take time to research type 2 diabetes and what it entails, including how it affects the body, symptoms to watch out for, and ways to manage (or even reverse!) the condition.
Here are some resources to get you started:
2. Ask your loved one how you can help
Looking for ways to care for someone with type 2 diabetes, but don’t know where to start? Ask!
Everyone’s experience with type 2 is different — some diabetics may want reminders and assistance, while others may feel comfortable handling it themselves. Don’t be afraid to ask your loved one how you can help. One of the best things you can do is ask what they need from you and how you can best support them on their journey.
3. Watch out for hypoglycemia and hyperglycemia
Type 2 patients are at risk of having both high and low blood sugar. Understanding the symptoms of hyperglycemia and hypoglycemia and what to look out for is crucial when caring for some with type 2 diabetes.
Hyperglycemia, or high blood sugar, occurs when the body either has too little insulin or doesn’t use it properly. People with type 2 diabetes are insulin resistant, which leads to a reduction in insulin production and can cause high blood sugar.
Hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar, occurs when blood sugar levels have fallen to a dangerous level and need to be brought back to a healthy target range. Any blood sugar level below 70 mg/dL is considered low. As you’re caring for someone with type 2 diabetes, look out for hypoglycemia symptoms such as dizziness, shakiness, anxiety, and heart palpitations.
4. Understand the importance of foot care
In addition to understanding hypoglycemia and hyperglycemia, it is also helpful to understand foot care when caring for someone with type 2 diabetes. A person with type 2 is more susceptible to foot complications, such as tingling or numb sensations, blisters or other wounds, and skin discoloration due to a lack of blood circulation.
Here are some ways to ensure your loved one practices proper foot hygiene:
- Regularly examine your loved one’s feet and look out for any sores, cuts, or blisters.
- Make sure they keep their feet clean, dry, and soft.
- Remind your loved one to wear moisture wicking socks and comfortable shoes that fit well and provide support.
5. Encourage healthy eating
For most people, healthy eating is optional — but for diabetics, it’s a necessity. Keeping blood sugar levels as stable as possible is often at the forefront of a type 2 diabetic’s mind on a daily basis.
Therefore, healthy eating is a vital aspect of a diabetic’s treatment plan. To keep their blood sugar levels in check, diabetics constantly have to be extra cautious of what they are putting into their bodies. But, there’s no denying that this can be challenging at times.
In general, someone with type 2 diabetes should eat foods that are higher in vitamins, minerals, and fiber — and avoid foods that are high in added sugar, saturated fat, and sodium. When caring for someone with type 2 diabetes, you can encourage healthy eating by planning meals and snacks that are diabetic-friendly without sacrificing tastiness.
If you’re looking for inspiration, here are 14 diabetic-friendly smoothie recipes that are just as healthy as they are delicious.
6. Create an exercise program
Sure, anyone can benefit from exercising regularly — but this is especially true for type 2 diabetics. Sticking to an exercise program can help your loved one lose weight and keep their blood sugar under control. Whether you’re walking, jogging, biking, or swimming, getting at least 30 minutes of moderate activity four to five days a week can help manage someone’s diabetes.
When it comes to starting and sticking to a routine, having an exercise partner can be one of the greatest motivators. Plus, it’s more fun for both parties involved! Not only will you be helping your loved one get in shape and fuel their fight against type 2, but you’ll also be improving your own health too. It’s a win-win!
7. Monitor medications
Sometimes, a healthy diet and exercising regularly are not enough to keep blood sugar levels in check on their own. In these cases, your loved one may be prescribed medication to help manage their type 2 diabetes. Oral medications are typically the first step for treating type 2 and can be used to manage diabetes-related complications, like high blood sugar and cholesterol.
If oral medications don’t work, your loved one may be prescribed insulin, a hormone produced by the pancreas that converts glucose into energy. For diabetics, insulin is injected into the skin using a syringe and is typically given one to four times a day. This can be overwhelming at times — especially for a newly diagnosed diabetic — so it could be helpful to keep track of medications or injections while they adjust to this new normal.
8. Offer to attend doctor appointments
When caring for someone with type 2 diabetes, it can be beneficial to accompany them to their doctor appointments. This is another way for you to learn more about type 2 diabetes and ask any questions you may have, while showing your support at the same time.
Although not everyone will take you up on this offer, many diabetics will welcome the support. After all, there’s no denying that doctor appointments can be intimidating — not to mention boring. Many people will greatly appreciate having someone there to keep them company and provide moral support.
9. Be an accountability partner
No matter what your goals are, having an accountability partner can keep you on track — and the same holds true for type 2. When caring for someone with type 2 diabetes, being an accountability partner can help remind them that they aren’t alone. Even though you aren’t experiencing diabetes yourself, you can still walk with them on this journey.
For example, don’t just encourage healthy eating or exercising regularly, but do it alongside them. Eating unhealthy food around someone with diabetes can make it harder for them to stick to a nutritious routine. Additionally, it’s no surprise that exercising is more enjoyable when you have someone to do it with. Being an accountability partner is one of the best ways you can support a loved one living with type 2 diabetes.
10. Show positivity and support
Diabetes can be tough, and a little positivity can go a long way. Although you might never fully understand what your loved one is going through, you can show them you care by listening and offering positive support. Words of affirmation are a simple, yet effective way to make someone’s day extra sweet. Offer encouragement by reminding your loved one of their successes and how proud you are of their progress — no matter how big or small that progress may be.
11. Help them connect with a type 2 community
Here at Swee2ooth, we are big believers that the journey is sweeter together — and no one has to fight type 2 diabetes alone. Having a community is a crucial aspect of anyone’s life, but it can make all the difference for someone battling type 2 diabetes. As important as it is for you to support a loved one with type 2, being a part of a community that truly understands what they’re going through is just as important.
Speaking of diabetic communities, our S2 Community is dedicated to people fighting type 2. Our Facebook Group has plenty of recipes, support, and answers that can help your loved one fuel their fight.
12. Give the gift of Swee2ooth
Did you know that our Swee2ooth Super Blends were created specifically for type 2 diabetes? It doesn’t get much sweeter than that!
Each ingredient serves a purpose to help your loved one fuel their fight against type 2. Our Super Blend formula helps keep blood sugar levels stable and intense cravings at bay, while also providing everything they need to stay healthy overall. Plus, we like to think it tastes pretty good, too. Buying one (or all three!) of our Super Blends can be a sweet way to show them you care.
Shop Swee2ooth Super Blends
Caring for someone with type 2 diabetes? With tasty flavors like Vanilla Thrilla, Chocolate Cravin’, and Cinnamon Rollin’, you can’t go wrong with any of our Swee2ooth Super Blends. No matter which flavor you choose, you’ll be spreading sweetness and helping your loved one get one step closer to reversing their type 2. Click the button below to start shopping!