SAN DIEGO — In this video exclusive, Endocrine Today Diabetes in Real Life columnist Susan Weiner, MS, RDN, CDE, CDN, talks with diabetes awareness advocate and Miss America 1999 Nicole Johnson, DrPH, MPH, MA, about living with type 1 diabetes and about empowering partners to support their loved ones with diabetes.
Partners and other family members are the closest to the person living with diabetes, Johnson said. These people should be well informed about safety and the behaviors that affect diabetes management — positively or negatively — to support their loved one. For example, the person with diabetes and the partner often define “emergency” differently. Education can help them communicate better and plan for real emergencies, Johnson said.
Many resources for partner education are available online, such as the Partner Diabetes Distress Scale from the Diabetes Empowerment Foundation. Perhaps the most important aspect of partner or family support, said Johnson, is just acknowledging the disease and the struggles involved in dealing with it.