ROLE OF FAMILY SUPPORT IN DIABETES MANAGEMENT
Diabetes is epidemic; there is barely any family left that does not have a member diagnosed with diabetes. In urban areas, almost one-tenth of people have diabetes, and at least one-third are at risk of developing it soon if they do not do something about it. That means if not diabetic, every family surely has someone with prediabetes.
Diabetes is primarily caused by a faulty lifestyle, followed for years, wrong kind of diet, absolute lack of exercise, and chronic stress, and low interaction between family members are all contributors to it.
Diabetes differs from all the other diseases in a way that it is infectious by lifestyle instead of microbes. Meaning a particular kind of lifestyle seems to prevail within the family. Finding an only single obese person in a family is rare. Similarly, if one is not doing exercise in the family, probably none is doing it.
The family is intended to function as a single entity, but not in a negative direction, thus by changing the course of lifestyle by motivating and helping each other, whole family can benefit.
However, it seems that families are not discussing much diabetes, exercise, stress, and emotional problems.
“They say they care, but they rarely help, participate or motivate, they do not seem to understand me” is the most common complaint of people about their family members and close friends. In fact, some research shows that often friends are helping and providing more emotional support than the family members.
Although we all expect greater emotional support from family members, lack of such support may have reasons like little time or other lifestyle issues.
Can family support indeed make a difference?
At least all the research, hundreds of them, seems to support the idea that family support can make a huge difference. As we already mentioned that particular kind of lifestyle is prevalent in the whole family.
Whether it is a preference for specific type of food items, going out, meeting friends, doing exercise, spending leisure time, everything needs to be changed in diabetes, and perhaps everyone in the family has to change a bit. Wouldn’t it be best to work as a team? Instead of individual efforts. Sharing experience, motivating, has indeed shown to make efforts more successful.
Research has shown that adherence to exercise and medications are much better when done with family support. Married people usually have a higher compliance rate, though that cannot always be said about the lifestyle changes. People with families may exercise less as compared to those living alone.
Isn’t a family all about emotional support, love, help? Principally it must be the case, though in reality things often differ.
Thus for better diabetes management, prevention, it is vital that the whole family participates, and the process does not have to be boring. Supporting each other should be converted into a game, a fun, something to be enjoyed, something that brings emotional happiness to all the participants.
Iron sharpens iron; humans are not made to be left alone. They always psychologically feel better when they are continually communicating, when they are loved and praised. Modern technology has made us busier than ever; we are spending more time on unnecessary communication at the cost of neglecting the necessary one.
Thus the solution to the problem created by the technology should also be sought in technological advancement itself.
Why not start using an app that is made explicitly for members of the family, instead of social apps that are more open, and less focused on interaction at the family level.
An app called CricleCare is explicitly made to fulfill that gap. It is a fun way to keep you close friends and family members motivated. It is different in a way that it has been created to improve the communication between the small and closed circles. It has all the tools to make that conversation more relaxed and fun. So you can exchange messages, send stickers. Most importantly, you can encourage the family members by giving batches. Thus you can provide batches to kids for being good at home, doing all the tasks. Give batches for keeping up with exercise, reminding to take medicine, and much more. It has many features of health app like counting steps, providing information about burnt calories. However, unlike the traditional health apps, it is also about the involvement of the whole family. It merges the benefits of health app and family support platform.