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Much informative material has been written about Diabetes and for persons living with Diabetes; however, when someone is diagnosed with diabetes it just doesn’t affect that person—it affects the entire family and/or everyone in their circle.  Therefore, it is important to educate the family members on ways they can offer support to their loved one, who may have been recently diagnosed or has been living with diabetes for years.  Being diagnosed with diabetes can be a lonely feeling, but the road ahead can be less lonely by using some of the simple tips below:

  • Talk to your loved one—find out what things are making it difficult in coping with the disease and in what ways, if any, you can offer assistance.  Maybe the only way you can help is by lending a listening ear when your friend or family member needs to vent about the frustrations associated with living with diabetes. 
  • Learn about diabetes—as previously mentioned, a diagnosis of diabetes affects everyone.  Read about ways someone can manage and control the disease, such as eating healthy foods and exercising.  Read about how the complications of diabetes can be prevented or delayed.  Learn as much as possible so that you can help alleviate any added stress.
  • Find outside support—as much as you, the family member, may offer your help it may be more effective or beneficial to find a support group for your loved one.  In a support group, all the members have one thing in common—they all know the struggles of trying to live a healthy life while keeping their blood sugar under control.   While on this point, if you would like to join a local group, you can visit the TCI Diabetes Association every 1st & 3rd Tuesday of the month.  For more information, contact 241-7601 or email: tcidiabeticassociation@gmail.com.
  • Find ways to help—you can help with anything from helping your family member keep doctor’s appointments to making a list of questions to ask during the visit to trying out new diabetic friendly recipes together.  Resist the urge to become a nag about taking medications and not eating certain foods no matter how hard it is to keep quiet.  Remember, the aim is to foster accountability and responsibility in the person living with diabetes and to encourage lifestyle changes through encouragement and support.

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Comment by Kathleen Tuitt on November 14, 2011 at 18:03

Tamika very nice article.  I like the article.  Lots of pertinent information for the people of the Caribbean.  Thank you for sharing.    Please explore if you can secure a DVD copy of the panel discussion you guys in Turks and Caicos will have later this evening.... Thanks in advance.

Comment by chicgourmetbvi on December 11, 2011 at 15:20

Excellent article indeed very encouraging. It was just recently that the Virgin Islands has one of the highest juvenile diabetes rates in the Caribbean.  What has gone wrong?

We really need to take a good look at what we promote as 'food' in our culture; for the future of our children.

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