Empowering People with Diabetes to Access DSMES

Lending a helping hand.

Diabetes educators and others can empower people with diabetes to be proactive in their self-management journey by asking if their healthcare provider has talked with them about DSMES, and if not, encouraging them to proactively ask their provider for a DSMES referral. Helping people with diabetes locate a DSMES program near them is a simple way to encourage participation. Asking about, and proactively addressing, potential barriers is another way to promote DSMES services. See the Overcoming Barriers to Referral and Treatment section for more detailed information.

It is important to know that people who have the knowledge and support to manage their diabetes are healthier than those who do not. People who receive DSMES services will learn how to manage things such as how and when to take their medication, how to monitor blood glucose, etc. This information helps them manage their diabetes better, which can help them avoid or delay complications.

Talking to people with diabetes about what DSMES is can emphasize the need for these services. For example, DSMES services will help them:

  • Make better decisions about their diabetes.
  • Work with their health care team to get the support they need.
  • Understand how to take care of themselves and learn the skills to:
    • Eat healthy.
    • Be active.
    • Check their blood sugar (glucose).
    • Take their medicine.
    • Solve problems.
    • Cope with the emotional side of diabetes.
    • Reduce the risk of other health problems.

For more information, visit the CDC’s website on Diabetes Education and Support.