Caregiver, companion, aide, loved one, supporter. There are a lot of ways to refer to someone supporting a loved one with a disease like DME. In 2015, there were over 43 million caregivers in the U.S., according to the AARP’s comprehensive report on Caregiving in the United States.1 Anyone can fill this role, but the type of support provided can look different to different people.
If you assist your loved one with everyday activities, chances are you're helping your loved one with one or more of the following2:
- Activities of daily living, including getting in and out of beds and chairs, getting dressed, bathing, or going to the bathroom.
- Instrumental activities of daily living, including transportation, grocery shopping, housework, preparing meals, and managing finances.
- Other key activities, like helping administer medications, monitoring overall health, and communicating with healthcare professionals on behalf of a loved one.
- General support and encouragement to help them stay positive.
Assisting a loved one can have its challenges, but there are simple tips to help you care for yourself and your loved one with Diabetic Macular Edema (DME).
If your loved one is living with DME, low vision probably isn't the only complication from diabetes he or she faces.3 You have likely been supporting your loved one with diabetes for some time, and your help navigating DME is just as important. There are many simple things that you can do to help improve your loved one's daily life, such as helping manage his or her diabetes, creating a home that is low-vision friendly, and reminding your loved one to focus on his or her eye health.
Caring for a loved one may lead you to take on more than you feel you can manage, leaving you stressed or feeling burned out.
To help manage your stress levels, check out these tips for a few simple ideas to help you be your own caregiver while supporting a loved one with DME:
Own Eye Health11 If you also have been diagnosed with diabetes, it’s important that you schedule regular appointments to get your own eye exams.
Continue to grow in your role with resources and information to help you better support someone living with DME. Check out the full Resources & Tools page for even more materials, including the Patient Mentor Program, a program to connect you to someone living with DME.
Supports and sustains the important work of families nationwide caring for loved ones with chronic, disabling health conditions.
A leading diabetes advocacy organization offering caregiver resources.
A leading provider of information and guidance for family and professional caregivers.
Provides information about senior transportation options in local communities nationwide. Supported by Regeneron.
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- Caregiving in the U.S. 2015. AARP Public Policy Institute. AARP Web site. http://bit.ly/2yRjb5w. Accessed November 17, 2017.
- Caregiving. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Web site. http://bit.ly/2AVYuH3. Accessed November 17, 2017.
- Complications. American Diabetes Association (ADA) Web site. http://bit.ly/1umKQTt. Accessed November 17, 2017
- Facts about diabetic eye disease. National Institutes of Health, National Institute on Aging Web site. http://bit.ly/2EMbhy6.
- Doctor's appointments: tips for caregivers. National Institutes of Health, National Institute on Aging Web site. http://bit.ly/2uSBvd0. Accessed November 17, 2017.
- 10 ways to deal with caregiver stress. AARP Web site. http://bit.ly/2ipy9t6. Accessed November 17, 2017.
- Reactions to vision loss: is someone you love experiencing vision loss? American Foundation for the Blind, VisionAware Web site. http://bit.ly/2zMnylA. Accessed November 17, 2017.
- Help for first-time caregivers. AARP Web site. http://bit.ly/2zLYb3v. Accessed November 17, 2017.
- Facts about macular edema. National Institutes of Health, National Eye Institute Web site. http://bit.ly/2AUxh7s. Accessed November 17, 2017.
- Vision loss and blindness. Family Caregiver Alliance Web site. http://bit.ly/1nITM7Z. Accessed November 17, 2017.
- Keeping your eyes healthy: get regular comprehensive dilated eye exams. National Institutes of Health, National Eye Institute Web site. http://bit.ly/1bPE2dh. Accessed November 17, 2017.