Who is a caregiver?A caregiver is an individual who looks after the requirements of a person with short-or long-term limitations due to illness, injury or disability. People who care for family members or neighbours or close friends could be said to be caregivers. They play an important role in health care as they are the main source of valuable information about the patient..Caregivers are not only responsible for the physical well-being but also look after the emotional well-being of the person who has an illness/disability or a medical condition.Caring for people with DiabetesPeople with Diabetes need to check blood sugars multiple times a day. They often need to remember to take multiple medications and even inject insulin. This is very challenging for a person with Diabetes. People with Diabetes, especially if they are elderly, will have co-morbidities like heart problem or high blood pressure. This adds to the burden of care. This make the role of the caregiver more vital.As a caregiver to a person with Diabetes, there are some simple things you can do to ease stress. These are:• Note down any questions or concerns you have that need to be discussed with the doctor.• Bring a list of current medications, even if prescribed by other doctors.• Maintain a journal to record blood sugar levels, blood pressure levels and any changes in behaviour or routine.• Ask questions about anything you do not understand.• Voice your concern if you are unable to provide the needed care.Caregivers whose loved ones have Diabetes experience a plethora of emotions. One of the most common emotions is feeling overwhelmed. This cover story seeks to help you manage not just the well-being of your loved one but also encourages you to self-care.Educate yourselfLearn as much as possible about Diabetes, its complications and management. If possible, visit a Diabetes educator and attend Diabetes appointments with your Are You a Caregiver?Do you do any of the following:•\tProvide transportation to medical appointments?•\tPurchase or organise medications?•\tMonitor their medical condition?•\tCommunicate with health care professionals?•\tHelp with insurance providers or agencies?•\tHelp in their daily routine - bathing/ grooming/ etc?•\tPrepare meals?•\tManage finances?If you answered "yes" to any of the examples listed above, you are a caregiver.loved one's consent. Never offer unsolicited advice. Ensure that the information you gather is from a reliable source.CommunicateThe best way to care for a loved one with Diabetes is to listen. Ask them how you can be helpful and listen to what they have to say. Allow your loved one the time to process what can be an overwhelming amount of information and recommendations. Be patient - take a deep breath and control your feelings, especially if you are dealing with a child with Type 1 Diabetes. Take a minute to ascertain how best you can help to read labels, count carbohydrates, monitor blood sugar levels, administer insulin or perform foot care.Support teamA support team is a lifesaver and helps ease your burden as a primary caregiver. A support team is usually made up of your loved one's healthcare providers and otherfamily members or close friends. Friends and family can provide additional support or act as a substitute for you when you need a break or have other responsibilities. It also helps the patient with their own needs concerning their new diagnosis.Quick checklistHere is a quick checklist to help to care for your loved one:Managing blood sugar levels Help your loved one maintain a daily record of their blood sugar readings and medicine schedule. Identifying these patterns from month to month can help pinpoint the blood sugar highs and lows.ExercisingEnsure that your loved one eats a healthy snack before and after they exercise. It's always a good idea to pack glucose tablets or a carbohydrate snack, plenty of water, and a Diabetes ID tag or card when they exercise away from home. They should also check their blood sugar levels before, during, and after exercise.Easing stressStress can affect blood sugar levels. Encouraging your loved ones to de-stress by walking, deep breathing exercises, gardening, meditating, listening to music or working on a hobby. Fluid intakeRemind your loved one to regularly drink fluids like water and caffeine and sugar-free drinks to avoid dehydration.Medical check-upPeople with Diabetes are more prone to infections. Proper hygiene and regular check-ups ensure that dental, skin and foot-related infections can be avoided. Ensure your loved one does not skip any required check-ups.Meal planMake sure that the meal plan created by their health care team is followed. It is important to include one portion of carbohydrates at every meal and snack throughout the day.Caregiver self-careCaregiver must reduce their own stress to be effective. The best way to do this is to recognise that you need help, especially if you feel overwhelmed.The physical and emotional demands of caring for a loved one with Diabetes can be draining and may cause burnout. Paying attention to your own well-being is necessary so you can provide the best possible care to your loved one. Here are some self-care tips to help you helpyour loved ones manage their Diabetes:•\tEat a well-balanced diet. Drink plenty of water every day.•\tExercise for an hour at least three times a week.•\tListen to guided relaxation podcasts or relaxing music.•\tSpend sometime outdoors every day.•\tGet a good night's sleep.•\tLet family members and friends help with everyday tasks.•\tDiscuss openly how you can be ofhelp to your loved one with Diabetes. Interact with their healthcare team to identify a way to aid their Diabetes management.• Keep aside some time every day to do what you enjoy. This will help you de-stress. Pay attention to signs such as loss of appetite or difficulty in sleeping, concentration or memory. Seek help if you experience a loss of interest in usual activities or an inability to accomplish usual tasks.• Discuss your feelings with your family. Joining a support group for caregivers is also important as they offer invaluable real-life tips.• Accept your limitations. Be realistic with your expectations.• The care you give does make a difference. But you have to keep fit to help others manage their health. This makes your self-care as invaluable as your loved one's Diabetes management.