If a family member or close friend living with diabetes has been diagnosed with diabetic macular edema (DME), you may wonder how you might help. Although you may sometimes not know exactly how to offer support, words of encouragement can be a good start.
You may find your loved one will struggle with medical costs and performing tasks that were once easier to do, like cooking or driving. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways you can help your loved one live a life that, while altered, is still rewarding.
Living with diabetes can be a struggle. The added complexity of low vision caused by DME comes with its own unique challenges – and solutions!
There are many resources available to combat challenges associated with diabetes and DME. Below we have listed some resources that you, your family, and friends may find helpful.
1. Health Insurance Tips
It is no surprise that health insurance is very important for people living with diabetes so they may better access the supplies, medications, and healthcare essential to manage their condition and treat any complications.
Fortunately, the American Diabetes Association (ADA) provides extensive tips on health insurance. Included are suggestions like where to go for financial assistance programs for those struggling to afford their medications and supplies, where and how you can buy a plan on the Health Insurance Marketplace if you do not qualify for Medicaid or Medicare, and even suggestions on how to help fill out the paperwork. Your physician’s office team can also be a great resource for completing investigations into your benefits and for answering questions.
You can help your loved one navigate this process. Helping research insurance online for them would not only be helpful and alleviate stress for your loved one, but it can make the whole process less overwhelming for those involved.
2. Assisting with Medications
The more medications there are, the more of a struggle it becomes for the person taking those medications to keep up with them. Managing several medications in terms of what day and time to take them, as well as the quantity, can be a lot to handle, especially with someone who is dealing with any type of vision impairment.
It is always important that your loved one carefully follows the instructions provided with any medication. While you can help your loved one with a complicated medication regimen stay organized, there are prepackaged medication services that can also meet this need.
Amazon is one online service company that has answered the call to make prepackaged medications for daily use available for its customers. With Pillpack by Amazon Pharmacy, the customer’s medication is sorted by day and time and delivered each month in either bottles or packets, depending on one’s preference.
Another similar resource is AccuPac®, which also delivers presorted medication every month at no further cost than one’s copayments.
These types of services have made medication management significantly more convenient. All you need to do is set this service up. This gives you both one less thing to worry about.
3. Labeling Important Items
People with low vision often struggle to read labels. What may be a standard font size, may not be ideal for someone living with DME who may have low vision.
There are many resources where you can get custom labels to place on most home items. On Etsy, for instance, you can find several custom label options with many different types of fonts and font sizes that can be placed on storage bins, pantry items, seasonings, medications, etc. The list goes on.
The bottom line is that you can order these labels for your loved one to make it easier for them to find things around their home.
4. Setting up a Meal Service
Bringing a meal over to a loved one is not a new concept, but it is not always feasible to do often. The wonderful thing is that there are resources that can take the burden from your loved one and allow friends and family the opportunity to help. This is especially important when struggling with low vision caused by DME.
This can be done in the form of setting up a food train or sending a prepackaged monthly food box subscription.
When it comes to selecting a food train service, one that has been widely used is Meal Train. With this service, you can easily and quickly set up a calendar that you share with your community to coordinate meals and when they will be dropped off. Whoever signs up can either prepare food themselves using any dietary specifications as a guide, or you can have food or restaurant gift cards delivered directly to the intended recipient.
You can set this up over a specific period of time, but regardless of how long you set it up for, it will definitely make a huge impact.
You can also choose to go the prepared meal delivery service route. There are many monthly food subscription boxes. Fresh n’ Lean is a service that offers five meal plans to help people living with diabetes, for instance, keep to their specific dietary plans. Meals can cost between $8-$10 each, depending on how many you order per week.
Your loved one will appreciate you going above and beyond as they are juggling many things related to their complicated condition. You can find out more about DME and other ways you can help by reviewing educational content at DMEandMe.com.