To support someone, you need to understand their diabetes, and they need to understand how much and what you can do to support them. A good place to start is by talking to the person. While it is good to encourage the person to be as independent as possible to manage their diabetes, you may need to provide both practical and emotional support. Someone with diabetes may need help with: keeping medical appointments monitoring glucose levels foot care reminding the person to take medications helping with meal planning and preparation encouraging regular physical activity. When caring for someone with diabetes, their management care plan from their doctor can give you some useful guidance and structure around how best to support them. Take care of yourself When you spend most of your time looking after other people’s needs it can be easy to forget about taking care of yourself. This may lead to stress in your relationships, or difficulty in keeping up at work or school. So, it is important that you look after yourself. Talking to your GP can provide you with information and they can also make recommendations for seeking additional professional support. Read more in our fact sheet. Caring for someone with diabetes (for family and friends) fact sheet Caring for a family member or friend who has diabetes can be rewarding but also challenging. You may feel worried, frustrated or confused about how to best support the person in managing their diabetes. Download now Influenza vaccinations People with diabetes are at high risk of serious influenza (the flu) complications. If you have the flu, you can be infectious to others from 24 hours before symptoms start until 1 week after the start of symptoms. Get vaccinated before the flu season. Vaccination is the best protection against the flu. Caring for a person with diabetes and an intellectual disability People with diabetes sometimes have other challenges, such as disability, in their lives. This disability may be another health issue, physical or mental, or it may be intellectual. For most people with an intellectual disability, it can be more difficult to understand the implications of correct food monitoring, foot care, eye care and handling ‘hypos’ and high blood glucose levels. This is why it’s important that a person with an intellectual disability and diabetes is well-supported by their carers. Most people with an intellectual disability can do some ‘diabetes jobs’. This often gives them a sense of satisfaction and achievement. They generally have feelings about their diabetes that are similar to those of others, such as “I wish I didn’t have diabetes” and “I don’t like it, I get sick”. If you are a paid carer or a family carer looking after a person with both an intellectual disability and diabetes this can be challenging. One of the biggest challenges is that the person may not always co-operate with you supporting them. As a carer, the more information and tools you have at your disposal the more confident you can be in how you approach this incredibly important job. Resources to assist people with intellectual disability These resources have been developed to assist people with an intellectual disability who have diabetes (and their carers) to: learn more about living a healthy life with diabetes use when they see a health professional about their diabetes learn more about diabetes by watching our animated videos learn more about healthy eating in Choosing healthy foods. For people with intellectual disability These resources have been developed to assist people with an intellectual disability who have diabetes (and their carers) to learn more about living a healthy life with diabetes. Find out more Caring for an older person Diabetes care is generally the same no matter how old you are. However, some things change as you get older. As you age, living with diabetes can be further complicated by other chronic health conditions. Find out more Free access to diabetes programs The NDSS provides a range of support services to help people with diabetes, their families and their carers learn more about managing life with diabetes. Learn to manage diabetes confidently with diabetes programs, available face-to-face and online. Register for a diabetes program. You can also call the NDSS Helpline on 1800 637 700 or contact your local diabetes organisation (NDSS Agent). Read more about NDSS support services. More information and support Go to Carers Australia or call 1800 242 636. Support for unpaid carers through a range of services, including a telephone advisory line for advice and information about practical, financial, and emotional supports available to you as a carer. Go to Relationships Australia or call 1300 364 277. Relationship information and support service for individuals, families and communities. Counselling services are available face-to-face, online, and over the telephone (depending on location and special needs). Go to Beyond Blue or call 1300 224 636. Information and support for people with depression or anxiety or who are going through a tough time. Support services are available via telephone, email or online forums where you can connect with others.