Good diabetes care requires constant and consistent management, which can lead to care fatigue and overlooking care needs.
Ignoring diabetes care can lead to complications such as heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetic coma. However, there are ways to alleviate the stress of care and remain hopeful and healthy:
Allow imperfection. Good diabetes care does not mean having to be perfect with care every single day. Some days are simply going to go better than others and it is important to be forgiving for an occasional glucose fluctuation and then learn from mistakes.
Identify care barriers. Barriers to diabetic care management could be:
- Requiring more information/education on proper diabetic care
- Avoiding situations that could disrupt a care schedule
- Excuses to overcome regarding getting more exercise
- Eating patterns that may be driven more by emotions than hunger
- Depression or other emotional concerns
Family members, friends and coworkers typically provide a great shoulder to lean on. Just let them know what is helpful and what to watch for. A home caregiver trained in diabetic care is also an excellent resource for care support and encouragement.
Reframe care into easily recognizable benefits. It’s certainly true that proper care helps to prevent diabetic complications. But if the complications are not a strong enough force to keep on track, consider other benefits that would better influence. For example, proper care could make for the ability to more easily enjoy hobbies and interests.
Stick to a care plan. Creating a daily routine will help in managing care. Don’t forget to consider how that plan will be affected if there are disruptions to the regular schedule.
Think positively. Negative self-talk leads to depression and a feeling of helplessness, whereas positive self-talk is motivational and creates solutions. Instead of thinking, “I’ll never be able to manage my diabetes—I might as well plan on having health problems,” try thinking, “I didn’t pay enough attention to my portion sizes at dinner; that is why my blood sugar is high. I need to think ahead and keep portion sizes in line with my meal plan or cover with extra insulin if I eat more than I intend.”
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