Family support among older persons in diabetes mellitus self-management

Results of new study highlight the importance of family support in diabetes mellitus self-management in older persons | BMC Geriatrics

The aging process has functional consequences for older persons, such as degenerative processes of the pancreas resulting in diabetes mellitus. The increasing age of the population will eventually lead to increasing health problems of older persons, including diabetes mellitus. Diabetes mellitus is a chronic disease that requires long-term care through self-management. Diabetes self-management in older persons is influenced by family support as the main support system. This study aimed to explore perceived family support by older persons in diabetes mellitus self-management.

This study applied descriptive phenomenology method. The data were collected through in-depth interviews. There were nine older persons with diabetes mellitus as participants. Data consisted of in-depth interview recordings and field notes. Data were transcribed and analyzed using Colaizzi’s method.

The results identified that family support as perceived by older persons included daily activity assistance, assistance with obtaining health services, food preparation, financial support, attention, guidance, and problem solving. The response to family support was pleasure as expressed by the older persons.

Physical and economic limitations were a significant hindrance to self-management of diabetes mellitus in older persons; therefore, they require family support to optimize their independence. The results of this study highlight the importance of family support in diabetes mellitus self-management in older persons.

Full reference: Niko Dima Kristianingrum et al. | Perceived family support among older persons in diabetes mellitus self-management BMC Geriatrics | 2018, 18 (Suppl 1) :304 | published 19 December 2018

Diabetes UK survey reveals carers experience mental health problems

Diabetes Times | November 2018 | Diabetes UK survey reveals carers experience mental health problems

An online survey from Diabetes UK demonstrated that more than three quarters (77 per cent) of respondents said that they sometimes or often feel down because of their family member’s diabetes.

In the survey one third of carers (n=228) wanted their family member to see a diabetes specialist nurse (DSN) more frequently, while  just over one-tenth (11 per cent) wanted a trained counsellor or psychologist to support the children or adults with diabetes they care for.


Other findings include:

  • More than a quarter (n= 178) say that if they could change one thing about the healthcare they experience, it would be to receive more information and support to manage the condition day to day.
  • Carers of children and young people  with type 1 diabetes say it is challenging when people do not understand the realities of their child’s condition, and that emotional support would reduce the strain on them to ‘appear strong’ at all times.
  • Carers of older people with type 2 diabetes cited having the opportunity to be themselves, not just a carer, as being important for their well-being, they also would like to receive support from more experienced peers. (Source: Diabetes Times)


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