Help a Loved One Cope with Diabetes


The support of family and friends is valuable when it comes to diabetes management. Diabetes is a challenging disease to handle alone. Here’s how you can help a loved one cope:

Learn about diabetes

There’s a lot to learn about how people can live well with diabetes. Use what you learn to help your loved one manage his or her diabetes.

  • Helping a loved one cope with diabetes begins with talking.
  • Ask your loved one to teach you about how he or she manages diabetes.
  • Join a support group – in person or online – about living with diabetes. Check with your hospital or local health clinic to find one.
  • Read about diabetes online.
  • Ask your loved one’s health care team how you can learn more about living with diabetes.
  • Ask your loved one about coping with diabetes and how you can help.

Here are some sample questions –

  • Do you ever feel down or overwhelmed about all you have to do to manage your diabetes?
  • Have you set goals to manage your diabetes?
  • What things seem to get in the way of reaching your goals?
  • What can I do to help? (Example: Are there things I can do to make it easier for you to live with diabetes? If you want to be more active, will it help if we take walks together?)
  • Have you talked to your health care team about your diabetes care and how you want to reach your goals?

How you can help

Try some of these tips to help your loved one –

  • Find ways to help your loved one manage the stress of living with diabetes. Being a good listener is often the most important thing you can do to help.
  • Ask your loved one if he or she would like reminders about healthcare appointments, when to check his or her blood sugar, and when to take medicine.
  • Help your loved one write a list of questions for the health care team.
  • Eat well. Help your loved one make meals that include foods such as fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
  • Find things you can do together, such as walking, dancing, or gardening. Being active is a great way to handle stress.
  • Daily walks together give you time to talk and stay active.
  • Cut back on sweets by serving fresh fruit for dessert.


National Institute of Diabetes and Kidney Diseases: How to Help a Loved One Cope with Diabetes