Expanding Your Diabetes Support Team | Cornerstones4Care®

Choosing Friends and Meeting New People

Up to now, you and your parents and/or other caregivers have worked with one another (along with the professionals on your diabetes care team) to help manage your diabetes. Grandparents, brothers or sisters, and close family friends may also be part of your diabetes support team. But as you get older, your circle of important people changes. This article is intended to help you expand your support system beyond the one you have now.

You get to choose

Surround yourself with people who take the time to get to know you and what you need to do. Then pick carefully. And there are plenty to select from:

  • Roommates
  • New friends or neighbors
  • People you work with
  • Spouse or partner

Start simple

When you decide that you would like to share information about your diabetes lifestyle, give your new friends the basics first. This simple information can ease them into diabetes education. Let them know that the key parts of managing type 1 diabetes are:

  • Checking blood sugar as directed by your care team
  • Taking medicine the way you’re supposed to
  • Healthy eating
  • Being active

Give some diabetes support details

Anyone who cares about you might not know exactly how to offer support. Don't make them guess. Tell them what you need. Here are a few ideas. Sharing this information makes it easier for others to help you. Invite them to:

  • Learn more about diabetes. Suggest that they take a class where they can learn about diabetes or do some online research to see what's new
  • Understand type 1 diabetes. It's different from type 2. And type 1 diabetes is different for everyone who has it. Let them know how it affects your life
  • Let them give help when you need it. Maybe it's going to a drug store for you if you need more supplies and are running tight on time, or keeping high-carbohydrate snacks out of sight when you visit so you won’t be tempted to eat too much
  • Talk about what it feels like to support someone with diabetes. Your support team members may not have type 1 diabetes, but through you, they are living with it. They should talk to you about how they feel as well to help build trust and work better together
  • And finally, remind them they don't need to be the diabetes police. No one likes being nagged or told what to do. So tell friends that if they really care, they'll provide positive support only

Moving toward an adult care team

Picking support team members from your circle of friends is important. But you should also have a doctor with whom you feel comfortable talking and asking questions. It may be time to make the move from your pediatric endocrinologist to an adult specialist.

About to Hit the Road?

Before you get behind the wheel, we’d like to share some safe driving tips that everyone with a driver’s license and type 1 diabetes should know.

We’re Here for You

There’s a place where type 1 diabetes support is always available: Cornerstones4Care®! Find tools, tips, information, and inspiration specifically created for people with type 1 diabetes of all ages and stages and those who care for them.