There are many aspects of diabetes self-management that require patients to alter their daily schedules, often significantly, in order to manage their condition and reach their treatment goals. Interviewing patients using the Patient Interview Guide can help you better understand your patient’s current daily schedule and give you a starting point for finding ways to incorporate nutrition, blood glucose testing, medication, and exercise into their day.
Working from this baseline, you and your patients can use either the English or Spanish version of the My Daily Schedule tool to visualize how each aspect of diabetes self-management fits into their existing daily schedule. Start by penciling in their typical sleep times, work and school hours, commuting times, and meal times. Add in any regular physical activities, leisure activities, volunteer work, church attendance, and regular appointments. Once their current daily schedule is in place, work with the patient to determine where and when exercise, meals, medications, and blood sugar testing should be incorporated. Add this information into the planner, and discuss with the patient whether any existing activities might need to be shifted to accommodate diabetes self-care activities.
Once the My Daily Schedule has been completed, make a copy for your records and give the patient a copy to take home. Encourage patients to stick to the schedule they have built with you, but to report back with any difficulties so that the schedule can be modified as appropriate to ensure success.
It is important that the patient understands that the daily schedule you have built together is a working document, one that will change over time, and that the patient will need to try it out to see how well it works. Ask the patient to write down when they’re finding it easiest and hardest to fit self-care tasks into their day.