BMLH Offers Group Support for Diabetics

WARE — Even though millions of people have diabetes, many people feel very much alone when they receive their diagnosis.
However, “joining a Diabetes support group can also help you gain a new outlook,” said Alicia Walter, registered dietitian and nutrition educator at Baystate Mary Lane Hospital. “Joining a support group and talking to other people with diabetes can offer fresh perspectives on something that may be troubling you, like meal planning, medications, or starting insulin.”
The hospital’s diabetes support group will resume meeting the first Wednesday of every month from 5 to 6 p.m. in the Main Conference Room located on the second floor, with the next meeting slated for Sept. 4.
“Joining a diabetes support group can make you feel less alone and more supported,” said Walter, who facilitates the support group. “It can also provide you with answers to questions that you may have and introduce you to diabetes-management tactics worth trying. Meeting other people with diabetes and sharing your common experiences in a diabetes support group can be comforting as well as educational.”
The benefits of a support group are many, including:
• Finding solutions to common diabetes-care problems, like practical menu planning and diet tips and learning how to do carbohydrate counting to help you better control your blood sugars;
• Finding out about the latest in diabetes management and treatment, including different medications and new research findings;
• Being able to ask questions that you may hesitate to ask otherwise;
• Exchanging ideas and getting support from others who understand exactly what you’re going through; and
• Exploring topics or issues you might never have thought about.
A diabetes support group is not just for people with diabetes. Caregivers, parents of children with diabetes, and partners, siblings, and even friends of people with diabetes are encouraged to get involved and learn about how to care for their loved ones.  Getting the whole family and friends involved when someone has diabetes is a good thing because diabetes affects everyone in the family and those closest to the patient.
Meetings are open to community members who have diabetes, their families, and anyone who is interested in learning more about diabetes. Registration is not required. For more information, call Michelle Holmgren, Public Affairs and Community Relations specialist, at (413) 967-2296.