4 Tips for Caregivers

Caregivers often report stress, loss of sleep, and poor personal health. Experts suggest these four strategies that can help you take care of yourself, as well as others.

1) Take care of your own health. Managing your own health is important to make sure you are healthy enough to help others. Eat properly, get regular exercise, and set aside some time each week to do something you enjoy. Continue to get regular check-ups and see your doctor if you experience any health problems.

2) Make connections with others. Sharing experiences with others can help caregivers manage stress, reduce feelings of isolation, and recognize that they are not alone. Caregivers should find someone they can talk to about their feelings, like a fellow caregiver, clergy, friend, family member, or therapist. Go to Ask Medicare for links to messages boards, discussion groups, and forums.

3) Ask for help. Speak up when you need support or assistance. Help can come from community resources, family, friends, and professionals. Consider getting help to manage meals, transportation, social activities, and services to assist with other daily needs.

4) Identify local support services. Local agencies can connect you to services and benefits such as adult day care, respite care (temporary breaks for caregivers), training programs, and caregiver support groups both in your community and on the Internet.

Are you one of the nearly 66 million Americans who care for an aging, seriously ill, or disabled family member or friend? If so, you know that a typical day can involve everything from preparing meals and running errands, to getting answers to questions about Medicare coverage, to searching for the best long-term care. With this in mind, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) created Ask Medicare–a one-stop resource for information and support for caregivers just like you.

Diabetes Educator’s Background And Training

Diabetes educators come from several different disciplines, including registered nurses, dietitians, physicians, social workers, psychologists, podiatrists, exercise specialists, and pharmacists. We are the only multidisciplinary group of professional health care workers who have attained expertise in diabetes.

Many diabetes educators have advanced degrees. All are people who started out as health care professionals and decided that they wanted to teach people with diabetes how to live with the disease. Some have gotten involved because they themselves have diabetes or have a family member who does. So we know very well what it is like to live with diabetes or to live with someone who has diabetes.

How To Become A Certified Diabetes Educator?

The eligible person has to take the exam offered by the National Certification Board for Diabetes Education (NCBDE). To take the exam, you must be a health care professional and meet strict criteria set by the NCBDE; for instance, you have to be able to document a minimum of 1,000 hours of experience in diabetes selfmanagement education within the past 5 years. Once you pass the exam and become a Certified Diabetes Educator, you have to take an exam every 5 years, so you must keep your knowledge and skills up to date. Many people spend several years working with Certified Diabetes Educators to get the necessary knowledge and skills before they are eligible to take the certification exam.

For more information on the certification process and to receive an application for the exam, those interested can contact the NCBDE (www.ncbde.org).