Diabetes Resources

Finding Experienced Mental Health Care for People with Diabetes

Diabetes management is very challenging, and it's completely normal for people to feel exhausted or stressed in the process. If you find that you are feeling worn out, frustrated, or anxious over an extended period of time, there are health care professionals who are trained and experienced to help people with diabetes distress. The American Diabetes Association (ADA) has partnered with the American Psychological Association (APA) to make it simpler for people with diabetes to get high-quality, relevant, mental health care by creating a Mental Health Provider Referral Directory.

Providers in the directory:

  • Are currently licensed as mental health providers

  • Are professional members of the ADA

  • Have demonstrated competence treating the mental health needs of people with diabetes

The providers listed in the directory must have either completed the ADA-APA's continuing ed program in diabetes mental health or have two or more years of experience working with people who have diabetes. Many of the doctors also offer telemedicine services - a method of receiving care from remote locations using technology. Access the provider list here.

Great Websites for People Looking for New Insulin Pumps

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Thinking about a new pump? These websites have discussion forums where people share their experience using different insulin pumps, CGM systems, and other diabetes supplies. They are excellent independent resources to use when making a decision on what products to use, and they are also a great way to connect with other parents and people with diabetes to share experiences, resources, and support.

What a Partnership! Basal-IQ Technology, Tandem's t:slim X2 Pump, and Dexcom G6 CGM

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This sounds stupidly easy. But it’s so effective. And looking at my pump, I can see how many times it kicks Basal IQ into action so I can continue to exercise, or snuggle my kid, or drive my car, or sleep. You know, basic stuff that humans do.Kerri, six until me

Tandem Basal-IQ Technology is wowing all around. Available as part of the t:slim X2 Insulin Pump and integrated with the new Dexcom G6 CGM, Basal-IQ Technology predicts and helps prevent lows, suspending insulin delivery before they happen. Expect less time low: there was a 31% relative reduction overall in sensor time below 70 mg/dL when clinical study participants used Basal-IQ Technology. Zero fingersticks are required for mealtime dosing or calibration when using Dexcom G6 Continuous Glucose Monitoring.

The X2 pump is discreet and easy to use. It features a large, color touchscreen interface for carb counting, bolusing, and viewing blood glucose trends – and it’s the smallest available pump. The Tandem t:slim X2 also offers upgradeable software, so when new features become available, the pump can be updated using a personal computer. You can also share blood glucose information with family members and other key members of the support team via Dexcom share app.

Check out the Tandem video or try out the system via the simulator app. Contact the Healthy Living Insulin Pump & CGM Therapy Team to find out more about getting started at 866.779.8512, Option 2 (phone) or 248.577.9903 (text).

How Will You Approach Our Favorite Food-Focused Holiday?

Thanksgiving is right around the corner! Full of family traditions, Thanksgiving often involves a large, thoughtfully prepared meal. Now is a good time to create some intention about how to approach this food-focused holiday. The ADA has a Holiday Meal Planning page that could be an excellent resource for preparations. The key points are:

  • Think About the Timing of Your Meal

  • Be Physically Active

  • Try Healthier Versions of Your Favorite Holiday Foods

  • Nibble

  • Be Selective

  • Eat Smaller Portions

  • Eat Your Vegetables

My action plan involves being physically active ("The best way to compensate for eating a little more than usual is to be active. Start a new tradition that involves moving around away from the food."*) and nibbling ("Have foods to nibble on while you are cooking or waiting to eat. Make sure the foods you choose won't sabotage blood glucose levels before the meal."*) Be thoughtful and prepared so you can enjoy a special day with as little stress as possible.

*Both quotes from the ADA page: http://www.diabetes.org/food-and-fitness/food/planning-meals/holiday-meal-planning/planning-ahead.html

World Diabetes Day: 2018 Introduction

1 in 11 people live with diabetes.

World Diabetes Day takes place this week on Wednesday, November 14. But there’s plenty to talk about, so we’re starting early. This is a globally celebrated event and official United Nations awareness day. This year’s theme is “the family and diabetes,” with the tagline “diabetes concerns every family.” The goal is to raise awareness of the impact that diabetes has on the family and promote the role of the family in the management, care, prevention, and education of the condition. The logo for World Diabetes Day is a blue circle, the global symbol for diabetes.

 Find out more about the happenings of World Diabetes Day at www.worlddiabetesday.org.

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The Easiest Way to Stay on Top of Your Diabetes from BCBS

We came across a noteworthy blog on from Blue Cross Blue Shield about successfully managing diabetes – with regular monitoring and careful planning. It’s definitely worth a read! The article encourages two main action steps:

  1. Become a Master at Monitoring – including diet, exercise, blood sugar levels, and medicine

  2. Make Sure to Get Regular Check-Ups – including a wellness check-up every 3-6 months, making sure shots are current, and staying on top of appropriate testing

Healthy Living accepts Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan insurance (as well as many others) for insulin pumps, CGM, and diabetes testing supplies. We’re here to help when you need us at 866.779.8512 (phone), 248.577.9903 (text), and via chat at myhlms.com.


Dexcom G6 CGM Receives CMS Approval & Will Be Available to Medicare Beneficiaries in Early 2019

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More great news has been announced about CGM! The Dexcom G6 continuous glucose monitor (CGM) will be covered for Medicare beneficiaries, starting in early 2019. CGMs are DME items that provide critical information on blood glucose levels to help patients with diabetes better manage their disease. Coverage for therapeutic CGM includes certain beneficiaries who have either Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes and intensively manage their insulin.

The Dexcom G6 CGM shines because of the following advantages:

  1. Zero fingersticks

  2. Acetaminophen blocking to maintain accuracy while taking Tylenol

  3. Smartphone app that allows data to be shared with family members, providers, and other members of a patient's care team

  4. Super easy application device

  5. Very small and discreet sensor

  6. Integration with the tSlim:X2 insulin pump from Tandem Diabetes, which is also covered by Medicare

Healthy Living will be able to provide the G6 to Medicare members – stay tuned for updates on this exciting news! Read the press release directly from Dexcom.

Diabetes and Emergency Planning in Michigan and Beyond

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Our hearts, thoughts, and prayers go out to the individuals and families in North Carolina and South Carolina whom have been touched by Hurricane Florence and the flooding that has followed. Although Michigan is not affected by natural disasters like hurricanes, we have plenty of other reasons to take pause and invest some time in emergency planning. Probably our greatest weather threats in this area are snowstorms, thunderstorms, tornadoes, and associated power outages.

For people living with different health challenges and conditions, there are unique precautions to be taken and plans to be made. For those living with diabetes, it is especially important to maintain a reasonable stock of supplies to last through an emergency. Additional supplies can be purchased through our retail online supply store or by calling us at 866.779.8512 (you can always discuss this with an agent when calling for an order or refill through Healthy Living).

Take a look at the CDC Preparedness page for people with diabetes. Four main topics that you may find helpful include:

  1. Information regarding insulin storage and switching between products in an emergency

  2. Diabetes disaster preparedness

  3. Be prepared: staying safe and healthy in winter weather

  4. Prepare for diabetes care in heat and emergencies

Beyond Type 1 recently published resources for those affected by Hurricane Florence – including contacts for disaster assistance, reminders for how to best stay safe and healthy, and also how to help. Some of their guidelines are applicable to us in Michigan:

Type 1 diabetes reminders for natural disasters

  • Identify yourself as someone who has diabetes

  • Stay hydrated

  • Keep emergency supplies with you to treat hypoglycemia

  • Secure insulin – If you can get to a pharmacy, it’s the best way to access your medicines or get emergency supplies.

Hopefully the winter weather ahead treats us kindly, but it’s worthwhile to be prepared for whatever might come!

Grunberger Patient Appreciation Day a Great Success

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Despite the weather (pouring rain all day!), the Grunberger Diabetes Institute’s Patient Appreciation Day on Saturday, August 25 had an awesome turnout! Over 100 patients attended the event outside Dr. Grunberger’s office -- a fun, educational opportunity to understand what resources are available for diabetes care. Jennifer from Healthy Living Medical Supply attended the event, along with many of our manufacturer partners representing CGM and insulin pump solutions. The Grunberger Diabetes Institute also served food and sponsored a raffle for patients and guests.

Dr. George Grunberger is internationally renowned for his work with people with diabetes. His office is located in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, and offers cutting-edge diabetes and endocrine problems management, one-stop service for comprehensive care, a multidisciplinary team, and participation in research studies. Learn more about the Grunberger Diabetes Institute and check out their blog.

Healthy Living Salutes Diabetes Educators

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The American Association of Diabetes Educators (AADE) annual conference just passed in Baltimore, Maryland. Healthy Living was there to meet diabetes educators and product manufacturers and to simply learn. Educators are in the trenches with patients and their families, teaching them the skills to be successful and guiding them in the various technologies and tools used to manage the disease.

Six diabetes educators were honored for their achievements and contributions in the field of diabetes education at the AADE conference:

  • Diabetes Educator of the Year Award - Jane K. Dickinson, RN, PhD, CDE

  • Lifetime Achievement Award - Keith Campbell, RPh, FASHP, CDE, FAAD (posthumous award)

  • Allene Van Son Distinguished Service Award - Malinda Peeples, RN, MS, CDE, FAADE

  • 2018 Strategic Initiative Award – Jasmine Gonzalvo, PharmD, BCPS, BC-ADM, CDE, LDE, FAADE

  • Rising Star Awards - Melanie L. Duran, RN, BSN, CDE and Clipper F. Young, PharmD, MPH, BC-ADM, CDE

We support the work of diabetes educators on a daily basis by providing them with meter kits to use for new Healthy Living patients in the clinic during training. Healthy Living also reinforces the teaching of diabetes educators by making sure our patients receive refills for continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) supplies, insulin pump supplies, and testing supplies on time, every 30 or 90 days (depending on the patient’s insurance plan).

What it comes down to is that patients can have the best technology in the world, but if they don’t have education, they won’t be able to take full advantage of an insulin pump or CGM system. Read the article New Diabetes Technology Options Can Ease Disease Management, but Education Key for more information about this. Diabetes educators are absolutely essential to the well-being and successful treatment plans of people with diabetes.

New Technology: Offering the Contour Next ONE Smart Meter

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The blood glucose meter is one of the most important technologies to help people with diabetes manage their disease. Many of the patients we serve, particularly those using a Medtronic insulin pump, use Contour Next test strips to test their blood glucose levels. To accompany this type of test strip, we now provide the Contour Next ONE  smart meter for blood glucose monitoring. This meter is wireless and has an app for managing data from readings on a smart phone. Approved by the FDA in 2016, the Ascensia Contour Next ONE is the latest in the line of Contour meters from the company formerly known as Bayer.

Read a full, insightful review of the Contour Next ONE by dTech Diabetes Mine blogger Mike Hoskins. Hoskins notes these features and changes in the Contour Next ONE:

  • Sleeker and slimmer design
  • New screen, changed from color to black & white
  • Watch battery, instead of a rechargeable USB
  • Port light to illuminate the spot where the test strip is inserted
  • Target lights to indicate the range of your reading
  • Second-chance sampling, with a 60-second time window
  • Improved accuracy
  • Bluetooth to sync with the mobile app
  • Ability to share diabetes data through the app

To find out more about the Contour Next ONE smart meter and other diabetes technology, contact us at 866.779.8512 (phone) or 248.577.9903 (text).

What We’re Reading: Facing Diabetes on Her Own Terms…from the HAP Blog

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We have been checking out the HAP Balanced Living blog and recently found this awesome article – Facing Diabetes on Her Own Terms: How One Woman Took Control of Her Life. This article is about Shannon, a woman diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, who found a way to manage her disease without medication, through motivation and focus.

Shannon had a family history of diabetes, so when she was diagnosed, she regarded the situation very seriously. She knew that she needed to make changes, and when she had a physically adverse reaction to metformin (a drug used to control blood sugar), she became determined to find an alternative to medication. To learn more about managing diabetes, Shannon took hospital-based classes for people recently diagnosed with the condition. Then, she also joined the diabetes prevention program at Henry Ford Macomb Hospital which provided great support and education.

Shannon also dove into exercise and improved her dietary choices. She started her exercise routine slowly to work around previous injuries, but she kept going. To adjust her diet, she looked at serving sizes and nutrition information about what she was eating. “The changes needed to battle diabetes can be overwhelming if you try to make them all at once,” Shannon explained, “Don’t be so strict that you set yourself up for failure.”

Healthy Living Medical Supply is in network with Health Alliance Plan of Michigan for diabetes testing suppliesinsulin pumps, insulin pump supplies, and continuous glucose monitoring systems (CGM). If you are a Health Alliance Plan of Michigan member and are looking for diabetes-related supplies delivered to your doorstep with great customer care, give us a call at 866.779.8512 or send us a text message at 248.577.9903 to start the easy enrollment process.

Now Shipping: Medtronic Guardian Connect CGM System

 Medtronic's Guardian Connect is composed of three key components: the sensor, a bluetooth transmitter that lasts a year, and a mobile app

Medtronic's Guardian Connect is composed of three key components: the sensor, a bluetooth transmitter that lasts a year, and a mobile app

We're excited to share that Healthy Living Medical Supply is now shipping the Medtronic Guardian Connect CGM system! This is a great technology option for any patient who is taking insulin via injections and who isn't quite ready for an insulin pump. Read more about the Guardian Connect CGM system at the Medtronic website

What is CGM? CGM stands for Continuous Glucose Monitoring and is a small, half dollar sized device that goes on your body and measures blood sugar levels every five minutes or roughly 288 times per day. 

What are the benefits of CGM? We've written about this here on our blog before, but in short CGM reduces the number of daily finger sticks while giving patients much greater insight into what is happening with their body's sugar levels. Medtronic Guardian Connect's stand alone CGM system takes readings every five minutes or 288 times throughout the day and night - this is significantly more information than is yielded through finger sticks alone.

What are the top benefits of Medtronic's Guardian Connect CGM System?

1. The data is automatically uploaded directly to the physician's office via Medtronic's CareLink platform. 

2. Predictive alerts for highs and lows are sent out 60 minutes in advance. Predictive alerts are sent out 40 minutes faster than the competition.

3. IBM Watson integration creates actionable trends from user CGM data.

4. Last but not least, Medtronic's Guardian Connect CGM system is significantly less expensive for the patient and health plan in comparison to the competition. Why? Because the transmitter lasts for one year, no receiver is needed, and a month's supply comes with five sensors for a total of 35 days of wear time. This means lower copays for patients, longer sensor wear time and a lower spend for the health plan. 

Most major commercial insurances, including Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and Health Alliance Plan of Michigan (HAP), will pay for CGM. Contact Healthy Living Medical Supply today at 866-779-8512 to learn more and to begin the easy enrollment process.

Michigan Residents: Keep your business local! Healthy Living Medical Supply is the only locally owned and operated diabetes speciality provider in the state of Michigan...and we provide world class customer service!

Healthy Living Now Provides CGM to Medicare Patients

Healthy Living has long provided insulin pumps and insulin pump supplies to Medicare members as a durable medical equipment (DME) benefit, and today we're pleased to announce that we're  accepting referrals for Continuous Glucose Monitor (CGM) therapy for Medicare members as well! Currently, the Dexcom G5 continuous glucose monitoring system has been approved for Medicare members.

A continuous glucose monitor is a small, wearable device system that tracks your glucose throughout the day and night, notifying you of highs and lows so you can take action when needed. The Dexcom G5 CGM system is made up of three key components: a sensor that measures your glucose levels, a transmitter to wirelessly send your glucose data to your smart device or receiver, and a display device where you can see when your glucose is trending high, low, or just right. The display device can be either a compatible smart device with the Dexcom G5 Mobile app or the Dexcom G5 Mobile Receiver.

What are the benefits of CGM?

  • With CGM, you’ll reduce your daily fingersticks dramatically, continuing them only for calibration of the CGM.
  • The CGM system monitors blood glucose levels in the interstitial tissue every five minutes, offering much more information than four to eight finger sticks per day.
  • CGM is very useful when you are struggling with nighttime lows, providing alarms and alerts.
  • Dexcom sensors and transmitters are water-resistant. They are relatively small and discreet to wear.
  • With Dexcom G5 Mobile, dynamic glucose data can be accessed and shared safely and conveniently to your smart phone device.

Call us today at 866.779.8512 (Option 2) or fill out our expedited enrollment form online to learn more about your Medicare insurance coverage, and start the process for receiving CGM supplies from Healthy Living. We’re here to help! 

What We’re Reading: The Health Alliance Plan of Michigan’s Balanced Living Blog

 The Health Alliance Plan of Michigan's Balanced Living is filled with tips and suggestions on increasing your wellness and leading a more active and healthy lifestyle

The Health Alliance Plan of Michigan's Balanced Living is filled with tips and suggestions on increasing your wellness and leading a more active and healthy lifestyle

One of our regular features on the Healthy Living Medical Supply Blog is our “What We’re Reading” segment where we shine the spotlight on resources that we find particularly relevant to our employees and customers. One such resource is Health Alliance Plan of Michigan’s “Balanced Living Blog,” which is routinely updated with excellent ideas and suggestions for maintaining an active and healthy lifestyle. Subscribe to blog updates by visiting the site and clicking the email subscribe link. 

Below you’ll find links to four articles that we found particularly interesting, all of which relate to diabetes, which is our specialty.

Walking it Back: Reversing Prediabetes

Facing Diabetes On Her Own Terms: How One Woman Took Control of Her Life

Diabetes Doesn’t Define Me: Overcoming Type 1 at 21

How Former U-M Football Star Marc Ramirez Tackled Diabetes

Healthy Living Medical Supply is in network with Health Alliance Plan of Michigan for diabetes testing supplies, insulin pumps, insulin pump supplies, continuous glucose monitoring systems (CGM) – if you are a Health Alliance Plan of Michigan member and are looking for diabetes related supplies delivered to your doorstep with great customer care, give us a call at 866.779.8512 or send us a text message at 248.577.9903 to start the easy enrollment process.

See You at the 11th Annual JDRF TypeOneNation Summit!

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Join Healthy Living at the 11th Annual JDRF TypeOneNation Summit! The Metro Detroit & Southeast Michigan Summit will take place on Saturday, May 12, in Belleville from 8:30 am – 2:00 pm. This free, educational event will bring together people of all ages and stages of type 1 diabetes, their loved ones, and the medical community. This year’s theme is “Living with Diabetes: A Family Day of Inspiration, Hope, and Education.” Register here

The TypeOneNation Summit was developed by a group of leading endocrinologists and diabetes educators. This one-day event will be full of education, information, and inspiration. Keynote Presenters include Dr. Alvin C. Powers and Dr. Korey K. Hood. In addition, there will be many break-out workshops and presentations on topics relevant to individuals and families living with T1D.

The JDRF Summit Youth Program will welcome pro-snowboarder Sean Busby. He is the founder of Riding On Insulin and will talk, inspire, and share his experiences with kids and teens.

We’ll have a table in the sponsor area, so please come and say hello!! We're in network with most major insurances for insulin pumps, insulin pumps supplies, continuous glucose monitoring systems ("CGM"), and testing supplies. This includes Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, Health Alliance Plan of Michigan, Priority Health, Michigan Medicaid, and Medicare. 

This is a great event – we learned so much last year when we attended the workshops. Hope to see you soon!

Yale Researchers Work Toward New Treatment for Type 2

  Topological map of a toxic pore formed by hundreds of copies of the hormone IAPP.

Topological map of a toxic pore formed by hundreds of copies of the hormone IAPP.

Andrew Miranker and his team have focused their recent studies on a simple hormone in all of us – islet amyloid polypeptide (IAPP). Certain forms of this hormone actually poke toxic holes in cells, and this Yale team is leveraging this information to create new therapies to treat type 2 diabetes.

The progression of type 2 diabetes is tied to the health of insulin-producing cells in the islets, which are groups of cells in the pancreas. These cells are responsible for coordinating the release of insulin in response to changes in blood glucose. The failure of the islets over time plays an important role in the cause of type 2 diabetes as the body loses the ability to regulate blood glucose. Currently, there are no approved drugs available to treat the actual causes of type 2 diabetes.

Miranker’s lab is working with islet amyloid polypeptide (IAPP), a protein partner to insulin. This hormone is made by the same cells as insulin. When IAPP takes on the wrong shape, it pokes holes in the membranes of islets…holes that are large enough to kill these insulin-secreting cells. The Yale team is working hard to design a compound to target the particular, destructive IAPP structure in order to prevent toxicity.

IAPP works alone in its healthy state, but the toxic version is made up of tens to hundreds of copies of the protein.  This creates a widely sprawling structure, and controlling it requires a different approach from those of traditional drugs. A great visual, Miranker’s team is designing a drug that acts like a fork for the spaghetti-like structure of IAPP to wrap around. The Miranker lab has developed a drug lead, ADM-116, that binds to IAPP by crossing the outer cell membrane, finding IAPP, and winding it up. By doing this, ADM-116 prevents IAPP from punching a hole in a sensitive internal cell membrane. This process essentially rescues cells that make insulin.

Using these discoveries, Miranker and his team, and the new Connecticut-based biotechnology company, ADM Therapeutics, will translate these discoveries into drugs that improve the long-term health of these cells. Although this research is currently focused on type 2 diabetes, these approaches will also apply to Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases.

Learn more from the YaleNews article, “Taming an unruly target in diabetes.” 

Medtronic’s Guardian Connect CGM Receives FDA Approval

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We have big news to share from Medtronic – their long-awaited standalone CGM has received FDA approval. Medtronic’s Guardian Connect is comprised of three parts: a thin sensor, a small plastic transmitter attached to the sensor, and the Guardian Connect app on a compatible iOS device. It transmits directly to the iPhone without using another receiver.

The Guardian Connect system is designed to help people, ages 14 to 75, who are using multiple daily injections (MDIs). Although it does not work directly with insulin pumps, Medtronic’s standalone CGM will be the only one on the market to give alerts for potential high or low glucose events up to 60 minutes in advance. The Guardian Connect system is expected to become available by July 2018, and as early as May 2018.

Benefits of the Guardian Connect system include:

  • Customized 1 hour predictive alerts – from 10 minutes up to 1 hour ahead gives you time to respond
  • Free 24-hour SMS alerts (and for up to 5 care people)
  • Easy-to-share blood glucose readings 
  • Reduced risks of hypoglycemia and more time “in-range”
  • Sleek design – marketed for an active lifestyle, half the weight of other real-time CGM systems on the market
  • Waterproof – can be submerged for up to 2.4 meters (7.5 feet) for 10-minute periods
  • Access to the Sugar.IQ system – smart diabetes assistant that looks at what affects BGLs
  • Rechargeable, re-useable, long-life technology

This news is exciting, because it means expanded options for people with diabetes when it comes to CGM.

We're here to help!

Considering an Insulin Pump? Let Us Run a No-Cost Insurance Benefits Check for You

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Are you ready for an insulin pump? There are many benefits to using this technology, and a few of the big ones are:

  • Fewer insulin injections
  • More predictable and precise insulin delivery
  • Fewer high and low spikes in blood sugar

Many insurances cover insulin pump therapy for their members, and our team knows how to get customers up and running quickly. We can run a no-cost insurance benefits check to find out if you’re covered and help you understand your options.

Just complete the form below or call our Insulin Pump & CGM Team at 866.779.8512 (Option 2) to start the conversation. Our experienced team can help you navigate the enrollment process and answer your questions.

Name *
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What We’re Reading: SmartSitters

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When leaving the house for a bit, it can be hard to trust the wellbeing of your child with a sitter whom you may not know well. Feeling confident to leave your daughter or son in someone else’s care can be even more difficult when your child has specific care considerations.

We found an awesome guide that can help you and prepare your sitter to give your child with T1D the best possible, most knowledgeable care while you are away. SmartSitters covers essential information about T1D to help families and sitters manage T1D together, wherever they are.

The SmartSitters guide includes a wealth of information, comprehensively covering details on defining diabetes, understanding insulin basics, monitoring glucose, and using an emergency glucagon kit. The guide is easy-to-read and has great pictures - definitely worth checking out!