Diabetes: A National Plan for Action. Families and Friends


People with diabetes need their family members and friends to help them manage their disease and keep track of their diabetes care. Here are some things families and friends can do to support people with diabetes:

  • Plan walks or other activities with friends and family with diabetes to help them get regular exercise. Help them follow the advice of their health care provider about ways to exercise safely.
  • Prepare healthy meals that fit into meal plans for people with diabetes and prediabetes.
  • Offer to help friends or family members check their feet for sores or calluses.
  • Provide transportation to the heath care provider’s office so that friends or family members do not miss important medical visits.
  • Become aware of the signs and symptoms of hypoglycemia and hyperglycemia and how to appropriately treat them.
  • If friends or family members do not understand English, help translate patient education materials into a language he/she knows or help identify resources that are language appropriate.
  • Provide assistance to a friend or family member with diabetes that is sick with a cold, the flu, or another type of infection or illness. Being sick can raise blood glucose and may make it difficult to eat properly or monitor blood glucose as needed.
  • If a child in your family has been diagnosed with diabetes, work closely with health care providers to develop a care plan that addresses diabetes and fits in with the child’s schedule. Revisit the plan on an ongoing basis to make sure that changes in the child’s condition or lifestyle are considered. Seek advice from health care providers about ways to teach children to be proactive in taking care of their diabetes.

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