21yo newly living alone

My nephew is 21 years old and newly on his own. His mom, my sister, passed away 3 years and his dad passed away 2 weeks ago. He has a very strong support system, however his older brother lives in NC and his younger brother is leaving for college in CA in two weeks (we live in MD). He admitted tonight that he’s not sure if he’s ready to live alone and if he chooses to move in with a family member or a friend, we will support that, but there is likely going to be a period of him living alone. We are concerned because he has a history of diabetic seizures. Mostly under control, only happen in the morning at home and are obviously due to low BG and him not checking before he gets out of bed.
Does anyone have any advice for how we can support him better as an adult? And would anyone recommend some form of medical alert system? I was thinking he might use a watch, especially if it would alert one of his family members (myself or my mom both live within 2-10 minutes away) over alerting 911. He has never been a fan of medical bracelets or jewelry and is adamant when he has a seizure that 911 is not called.
This is all stuff my sister would have considered and had figured out. My brother-in-law floundered after my sister passed and barely held it together (I don’t blame him for going through this). My nephew dropped out of college after his second semester when the pandemic shut schools down and he didn’t do well with online learning this was also months after my sister passed and then his grandfather. He is now working and starting to get his life together and then we were thrown this curveball.
I will take any recommendation or support. Thank you!

Hi @Bmccormick . I’m so sorry to hear about the losses in your family. Bless you for researching this for your nephew.
Dexcom makes a continuous glucose monitor (CGM) that updates readings every five minutes and can be set to sound alerts when numbers reach certain thresholds you choose. There are other alerts that sound automatically, whether the user chooses them or not. Readings can be shared with someone, which can be reassuring for both parties. Dexcom works with or without an insulin pump, although many people use it with a Tandem pump to help manage low and high blood sugars with a system called Control IQ: it’s a wonderful tool but only as good as the settings put in place (done in conjunction with a doctor). I use the Dexcom app so I can see my numbers on my Apple watch or iPhone - it’s available on Android as well. He would still need to wear the receiver to get his readings if he doesn’t use a pump, but he might prefer to look at them that way.
I’ve been using a CGM for many years now and I am much more comfortable when I stay alone. During the daytime I was fine but I set an alarm frequently overnight so I could make sure I was okay. Now I know the system will wake me up, which is very reassuring.
Hopefully he will work with his doctor to see what adjustments can be made to prevent the seizures from happening or at least decrease the frequency.
There’s an inhaled version of Glucagon available called Baqsimi. I haven’t tried it but it sounds much more “user friendly” in an emergency than drawing up and injecting solutions.
Take care.

@Bmccormick Welcome Brenna to the JDRF TypeOneNation Community Forum! Your nephew is now in a position where he needs to get a better understanding about managing HIS diabetes. And as Dorie @wadawabbit mentioned, there are tools like the continuous monitor that will alert him when his body glucose level is dropping so he cam take necessary action and avoid a hypoglycemic event [low body glucose level - BGL], sometimes called “insulin reaction” [not a seizure, which is an electrical disturbance in the brain that has been identified as diabetes related only when BG is less than 18 mg/dl].

There are multiple reasons or causes for low BGL and most often are caused by not figuring out how to balance insulin with foods eaten and activity - much easier said than done and really only comes about with much trial-and-error. An immediate suggestion that you might offer your nephew is that he get-up during his night’s sleep and check his BG, as well as check before going to bed - he will soon figure out if he needs to eat something.

Diabetes CAN be managed safely, as an example, at your nephew’s age I took a position as auditor that required travel between cities, living alone in hotels and eating in restaurants - I survived and this was decades before digital glucose monitors were invented.

Please tell him about this forum and encourage him to use the “search” feature to get some additional insight - he can ask for tips and suggestions from seasoned people who have experienced what he is enduring. We will offer him encouragement, most of all, and pointers on what has worked for us.

Hey there! I am a T1 who until recently lived alone and did so for years throughout my 20s. Totally understand why it can and feels scary but it’s one of those things that will feel weird and scary until you just do it. Like Dorie said, my solution was to have family follow my cgm(they still do!). I also used a back up app called sugar mate that connects to a cgm (assuming he has one) that will actually give you a call in the middle of the night too in case alarms don’t sound or you sleep through them. So having the two family members plus that always made me feel extra safe too. Two other things I did- for my cgm if it seemed to lag 20-30 minutes behind my actual BS is I would put my low alert higher. Generally during the day I’d put it at 70-75 but at night I’d boost to 85 or so. The other thing too that I should’ve been doing the whole time is keep low snacks right on and in my night stand. You can’t yell out for help and sometimes those overnight lows just feel like a sleepy dream so having the snacks right there was and is super helpful. I pump too so knowing I had the option to just completely suspend insulin if need be while I waited for low treatments to work too always was comforting. One last thing and I don’t know if this is easy or not to obtain but you mentioned he has a history with diabetic seizures, is he eligible for a diabetes therapy dog? I don’t know what makes someone eligible or if there’s just a certain breed that’s trained to help sniff out lows, but I could see that being comforting too! Lastly one other thing I’ve always liked is random people checking in with me on a daily basis. Most of the time it was just a good morning text or whatever but totally thoughtful. Long story short, he’ll love the independence and for me at least I always felt like it was something I could never do, but since I’ve done it I am so happy I did. I wouldn’t have traded this chunk of me time in my 20s for anything as I learned a lot about myself and like everything with diabetes it takes a little more prep it’s doable! Good luck to your nephew!