What Caregivers Need to Know
What Caregivers Need to Know
Real Experiences From Real People: How Does Diabetes Impact Your Family?
00:06 – 00:08 So I would say as a caregiver,
00:08 – 00:13 our role is to continuously be alert and
00:14 – 00:17 be paying attention to the various signs.
00:18 – 00:20 Everybody’s signs won’t be the same.
00:20 – 00:23 So my husband, when his is low,
00:23 – 00:28 he gets very, his eyes get very dazy.
00:28 – 00:30 He is quiet.
00:30 – 00:35 It seems like he can’t speak as clearly as he normally does.
00:35 – 00:38 So those are just things to look out for.
00:38 – 00:43 But again, your loved one, the situation can be different.
00:43 – 00:48 But I would just say always being alert and paying attention.
00:48 – 00:53 As a caregiver, making sure I check on him and ask him, ‘how are you feeling?’,
00:53 – 00:57 and because I know he does tend to have
00:57 – 00:59 his vision is impacted when he’s having
01:00 – 01:02 a low blood sugar event.
01:03 – 01:07 So just checking up on him, making sure he’s okay, making sure, you know,
01:07 – 01:11 as the caregiver, I carry the necessary things with me as well
01:12 – 01:15 to make sure I can help him and assist him if necessary.
01:15 – 01:20 Our son, even though he is an older child, through his own
01:21 – 01:27 medical issues, has been trained on how to deal with an emergency situation.
01:27 – 01:30 And so for him, there was a level of comfort
01:30 – 01:35 with helping his father when he did have a low blood sugar event.
01:35 – 01:39 And because he had been trained in that, and in his own care,
01:40 – 01:44 he could also help his father in a very sort of calm and confident manner.
01:45 – 01:45 Absolutely.
01:45 – 01:47 Even though
01:47 – 01:51 Dina has done great and I have no doubt she would be able to assist in any other way,
01:51 – 01:55 it was interesting to see your ten year old, let’s say feel very comfortable
01:55 – 01:59 with their rescue med training and
02:00 – 02:01 just as you said, the
02:01 – 02:04 calmness that was there and that gave us a great deal of comfort.
02:05 – 02:08 So between the two of them and then my colleagues, that network
02:08 – 02:13 becomes very important when you’re including others in that support.
02:13 – 02:18 And so I feel very fortunate as a patient with diabetes to have the support
02:18 – 02:22 to really know how to employ the therapies that are there to help
02:22 – 02:23 me address a severe low.
Who Are Caregivers?
Caregivers are the people you are around most often or a member of your care team and can help you if you have a severe low blood sugar event. For example, caregivers may be your loved ones, children, or other family members.
What if I live alone, or if my family lives far away?
If you live alone or your family is not nearby, your caregivers could be:
To figure out who might help you in an emergency, think about the places you usually go and the people you see often.
Organizations in your community may also help you find caregivers.
What Do My Caregivers Need to Know?
Caregivers need to know these 3 things:
What severe low blood sugar is, including the early signs and symptoms.
- Remember: People with diabetes may not realize they are having a severe low blood sugar event, or that they need treatment.
How to check for blood sugar levels, if possible.
Glucagon: when and how to use it, where it is kept, and what to do after it is given.
- Remember: Giving fast-acting carbohydrates by mouth can be dangerous during a severe low blood sugar event, because the person may choke.
All of these items should be included in your emergency plan and shared with your caregivers!
Print out this emergency plan, fill it out, and give copies to your caregivers so they are prepared.
How Do I Ask Someone to Be a Caregiver for Me?
Discussing diabetes and severe low blood sugar doesn’t need to be hard.
The questions below may help you begin talking about caregiving with people close to you.
- Are you willing to help me if my blood sugar drops too low?
- Can I explain the common signs and symptoms you may see me have when my blood sugar is low?
- Can I show you how to help me during a severe low blood sugar event?
Review Your Knowledge
Learn More About Severe Low Blood Sugar Below
- Reifegerste D, et al. J Clin Transl Endocrinol. 2016;4:7-12.
- Know before the low. Be prepared for low blood sugar. https://www.multivu.com/players/English/8688551-know-before-the-low/docs/TipList_1589921095033-1140242936.pdf. Accessed November 21, 2021.
- Hormone Health Network. Severe Hypoglycemia. https://www.hormone.org/diseases-and-conditions/diabetes/severe-hypoglycemia. Accessed November 21, 2021.
- American Diabetes Association. Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar). https://www.diabetes.org/healthy-living/medication-treatments/blood-glucose-testing-and-control/hypoglycemia. Accessed November 1, 2021.
- American Diabetes Association. Diabetes Care. 2021;44(1):S73-S84.