Management of Diabetes

Diabetes is a leading cause of illness. It is a serious chronic disease but it can be managed.

To help manage diabetes there needs to be a balance of exercise and diet. For some people there also needs to be medication.

Often people have to have blood glucose tests. Blood glucose tests show if the balance of exercise, diet and medication is working.

Care givers have to manage diabetes every day good health. To help with the management it is important that key people are kept up to date about what's happening.

Everybody should have a consistent approach the management. They need these skills:

  • Understand diabetes can be managed
  • Ensure diabetes management is taken seriously
  • Know how the person manages the diabetes themselves
  • Know the members of the diabetes Health Care Team and their roles
  • Know the recommended dates for checkups
  • Understand Exercise:
    • How exercise impacts on diabetes
    • Know the person's exercise program
  • Understand Food for the person:
    • Make sure the person eats meals at the same time every day
    • Know eating-out skills
    • Know about grocery shopping skills
    • Know about meal preparation
  • Have a Medication/Insulin Plan:
    • Know where the medication is stored
    • Know how the person takes medication
    • Know medication dosage and times
  • Know about Blood Glucose Testing:
    • Know what the person can do for themselves
    • Know where the kit is kept
    • Know how to take a blood glucose level
    • Be able to record the level
    • Understand the ranges
    • Know the appropriate action to take
  • Understand Low Blood Glucose Levels and High Blood Glucose Levels:
    • Know the symptoms of each
    • Know the treatment of each
    • Keep records
  • Understand Insulin:
    • Know what the person can do for themselves
    • Know where insulin is kept
    • Know who administers the insulin
    • Know time of injections
    • Keep a record of the dosage and site
  • Have a Diabetes Medical Management Plan
  • Understand the importance of Stress and its impact on diabetes.
  • Be aware of other medications.

To manage diabetes well there must be clear communication. There should be a consistent approach from all key people.

Hints from Other Care Givers for 'A Consistent Approach'


  • 'Encourage the person with diabetes to use a communication book so they can keep all the key people updated.'
  • 'Have a system that allows carers to access, review and store current diabetes information.'
  • 'Have a regular time for all key people to meet to review, discuss and problem-solve around the issue of diabetes management.'


  • 'Develop a healthy menu to include the person's favourite foods and meals.
  • 'Use a shopping list which incorporates healthy grocery items.'
  • 'Keep a food diary when blood glucose levels are out of range or (when) a diabetes health care team member recommends it.'


  • 'Use a medication sheet outlining all medications, dosages, times and how they are to be administered.'

Blood Glucose Testing

  • 'Document where the blood glucose kit is kept.'
  • 'Record blood glucose levels in a diary.'
  • 'Document every low or high blood glucose result and record time, blood glucose level, symptoms, food and drink consumed and activity prior to the reading and action (then) taken.'


  • 'Have good walking shoes (for the person) so that walking is comfortable.'
  • 'List when and what type of exercise the person does and the support they require.'


  • 'Have a list of contact details of the diabetes Health Care Team and dates of appointments.'
  • 'Have an accurate record of the outcomes of appointments.'