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All too many times overwhelmed caregivers are physically and emotionally depleted and need to take time to rest and care for themselves. Believing in a holistic approach to caregiver stress and a strong commitment to helping our members find the right solutions, we created this blog to help you connect with others who, like you, may be facing the same eldercare issues and challenges. Feel free to comment, ask questions, and submit articles. Please forward the blog link to your family and friends. They'll be glad you did.

Warm regards,

Patricia Grace
founder & CEO
Aging with Grace

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Support groups provide a non-threatening environment to ask questions.

Even though millions of people have diabetes, when you’re the one receiving the diagnosis you can feel very alone. Joining a diabetes support group, either in person or online, can help you see the many resources available to you, and that you’re far from alone in your battle to control diabetes.

When you meet other people who have diabetes and share your common experiences in a diabetes support group, it can be comforting as well as educational, says Ruth S. Pupo, RD, a diabetes educator at the East Los Angeles Center for Diabetes at White Memorial Medical Center.

The Benefits of Group Support

Participating in a diabetes support group can provide social support as well as ideas and strategies for better diabetes management and more effective diabetes care. By joining a diabetes support group, you can:

Get solutions to common diabetes care problems. People in support groups often have good suggestions for diabetes care issues, like counting carbohydrates and eating without raising blood sugar levels. Someone in your group might know of a great place to buy fresher foods or great gyms for exercise. People with the same health issues as you can often be invaluable resources.

Find out about the latest in diabetes management and treatment. Diabetes research is ongoing, and at a diabetes support group meeting you will often hear about the latest developments. Pupo says professionals as well as people with diabetes and their family members attend her support group meetings, and the professionals can help sort out the rumors that may start when a member hears of a new treatment or drug.

Ask questions you may hesitate to ask your healthcare provider. “I can’t stress enough that it’s a nonthreatening environment,” Pupo says. The people there feel comfortable asking questions they may be afraid to ask their doctor or diabetes educator for fear of looking stupid. 

Explore topics or issues you might not have thought of. People in your support group may bring up an issue or problem they're dealing with — something you realize you hadn’t thought about but probably should, Pupo says. It could be anything from managing your co-workers’ attitudes toward your condition to how to handle holiday meals.

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