Living Alone With Type 1

I just finished my first year at college- also my first year of living alone. I had a studio apartment inside one of the dorm buildings. There were some people around who knew I was diabetic, but no one was keeping an eye on me. If I had a severe low, no one would know or help me in time. After an entire year of living this way, I feel very lucky to be alive right now.

Is it a good idea to live alone if you have type 1 diabetes? Does anyone have a good system of living alone with type 1?

I have lived alone for the last 7.5 years after my husband passed away in 1999. I have found the best thing to help me out is the CGM which I began using in February. Before I started wearing that I would have terrible lows as I am hypo unaware. And this was with testing every hour while awake and a couple times during the night. My sugars can drop very quickly with no warning. With the monitor I get warned when a low is coming on. My daughter use to call and could tell by the way I was talking that I was having a bad low. Then she would have to race over to help me. If she didn’t call and catch the low then I would just eventually come around on my own. I love the feedom of living by myself and would never want to give that up. And I believe that no one should have to give that up if it is their choice to live alone.

Its honestly no worse than living alone. Diabetic, not diabetic… the alone is the issue.

Sure it would be nice to have someone to wake up with, whether a partner, or a roomate. Someone to watch a dumb movie with. You will be alone at periods of your life. You should not depend on “them”…

You can do “alone”, its the hardest part IMHE but very necessary. Demonicyouth if you can figure out how to play that game, (“single-solo”)… the diabetes in my view is literally nothing by comparison!

Merely my opinion, I could surely be mistaken,


Rereading your post, WHY do you feel “…lucky to be alive right now”?

What’s really going on?

I had much the same experience in a single dorm and later a single apartment. I found that keeping a basket of low-friendly treats by the bed was a huge help to me in the case of overnight lows (of course, that’s assuming you don’t sleep through them). I usually wake up in a cold sweat when I’m low. (But one time my dog woke me up howling (a strange behavior for her) and my sugar was in the 40s. I’ve always wondered about that one. Did my breathing change? Was the behavior a coincidence? Consider getting a pet. laughs) Anyway, now that I am married, I still keep the phone near me and a basket of treats by the bed.

Just today, I had put my Minimed in suspend for the last twenty minutes I was at the gym and realized over FIVE hours later that it was still in suspend after some serious high symptoms hit me. I was home alone. I tested, grabbed the phone, and went to the bathroom to vomit. Yay highs. But just having the phone near me to call my husband at work made me feel I wasn’t alone. I suggest you find somebody who understands that you may have to call them and give yourself permission to have a scare now and then and let someone know.

My mother-in-law is a Type 2 and lives alone eight hours away from us. She calls us any time she has a weird reading or a question, even though we can’t be there. And she has a friend nearby who will take her to the ER when she needs it. Best of both worlds.

I have been on my own for the last 2 years. I share an apt with my brother and he was not there the first year because of his job.

I do not talk to, wait I hate my neighbors so Im sure I would be dead for weeks before they came looking for me. I had some crazy lows living by myself, but I will almost always wake up. The worst was when I woke up at about 34 and stumbled into the kitchen only to wake up the next morning laying in the refridge with juice running down my chin… opps.

There are always what-ifs living by yourself diabetes or not. You just have to learn to life with them and figure out the best plan for you. I was nervous at first, but then I just figured I could not live under a rock forever whatever happens, happens.

One thing that I did (mainly to make my mother feel beter) was to get someone in my first class of the morning, or if I was at work a fellow employee to call me if I was late or did not show up. The rule was to call me for 30min and if I did not answer to call my mom. We never had to use this system, but it was there in case.

The big thing for me is that noone knows Im diabetic. Im not trying to hide it, I just do not put it out there. I was diagnosed weeks before I graduated high school so only my close friends knew. Funny now how if see someone from high school and I pull out a shot not thinking they freak out! lol

This like everything about diabetes is different with many people and in my opinion just trial and error.

I have lived alone almost always since I was 18. I did live with a roommate for a year and another friend for 6 months, but otherwise I have always lived alone. I do feel lucky. I am currently on CGMS, but I always keep juice boxes and my meter by my bed, my cell phone by my bed, and I test right before I go to sleep. If I think it is going to be a crazy night, I will set my alarm and check in the middle of the night.
Also, my co-workers know to check on my if I am not at work by 8:15, and I talk to friends every day, so they know I’m okay.
I would just have someone (relative, friend, neighbor, co-worker) be sure they check in with you every morning. That way there is someone who knows what’s going on.

I feel whether you live alone or are with someone you are always on your own with diabetes. I have suffered from hypoglycemic unawareness for years and I test a lot and always have something to raise my bgs quickly.

I have been married for 27 years and have never completely lost it like I did as a child growing up with diabetes (looking for wood to knock on).

I have asked my husband for assistance many times with low bgs, but I could of and have taken care of myself. I just think diabetes is something we own and have all by ourselves. My biggest support other than for lows are via the internet and some meet-ups as well.

I’m about to start living alone again after many years as a result of divorce. My family is very close, emotionally. We have a “safety device” – I call every morning and let the phone ring once. Just a way to let the world know I’m ok. The overnight lows are particularly frightening when I am alone, just as they were when I was married, because of the disorientation. I do the best I can – there are glucose tablets on the bed stand, and my meter, always right there. Just the act of testing can help bring me out of the overnight disorientation.

Living alone with diabetes is scary. The CGMS helps, but it is not something than can be totally relied upon yet. I’d make sure that there are people close by who can help in an emergency – a close friend or neighbor.

I have my daughter with me half the time and, though she is still a kid, she can help when there is a problem. Build a network of people who can help and a safety net when you need it. And never be afraid to ask for help if you need it.

Living alone is tough, whether starting over again or starting it new. There is nothing wrong with living alone, other than the fact that it is alone. Be diligent, be careful, be prepared. But don’t be afraid.

Live with a CGMS …at least it can be a “safe” alone…

I live alone with my one year old. I was alone when I was diagnosed, so I never thought twice about it. I do remember a few bad night lows (before I got my pump) and they were scary but you can make it through. My coworkers know and would check on me if I was unusually late. I do wear an ID bracelet at all times (and it glows in the dark.) It has personalized info and emergency phone numbers printed on the inside. I think this is very important. Mine is silicone and I can wear it in the shower, the pool…where-ever.

I live alone and have absolutely no back up plan. I know I should. I’ve heard about calling a relative (mom) first thing every morning like Jonathan suggests and that sounds like the best idea. But do I do it? No. My next door neighbor knows I have diabetes, but doesn’t know me well enough to come barging in after a few hours of silence. My dogs aren’t trained to detect lows but they sure do lick me a lot when they want to go out in the morning. I was good about telling friends and neighbors how to handle my lows for the first few years, but now I just go it alone. Probably not the best move.

Hi! i live in England with my partner. But during the day he’s not at home. I work at home but i’m usd to controlling my low alone. I know what to dao now, don’t be scared of living alone. Just stay calm and test your glycaemia. Take care.Alessandra

that’s a great idea! where is it possible to find this bracelet? thanks!

I don’t know if they ship internationally or not but this is the site:
Good Luck :slight_smile:

I’ve lived alone, with a roommate, with my parents, and with my husband since I was diagnosed (not in that order). I’ve had moderately serious lows in many of those circumstances which I could generally treat myself. Frankly the harder thing about living alone was convincing myself to test at every meal. My A1Cs were a bit higher then (still 7s) but it was just as bad living with a roommate. Lows and highs were easy enough to deal with.
It sounds like that hasn’t been the case for you, though. It might be worth looking into some other changes like a CGM, a hypo alert dog, or even a check-in system with a family member or friend. Lots of people with type 1 live alone (though I don’t know if in a dorm setup qualifies as “alone”… :wink: and do fine - hopefully, you will too.
Best of luck,
Sarah S.

I live with roommates, but may as well be alone, they tend to themselves and I tend to everything else :expressionless: But I have dogs, although not trained for it, they get antsy if I’m going low.

I also stared wearing a CGMS about 8 weeks ago, so this is good! Woke me with a BG in the upper 30’s yesterday, and alerts me to highs too.

My little sensor and tranny are my new 'betes buddies


I am no longer able to use the CGMS because of cost and since April the EMTs have been called to my house twice. This is after living 46 years with diabetes without ever having to call for emergency help. Luckily my daughter was here with me the first time and then the second time she had called me and knew by the way that I was talking that I was too low. So, once again she had to come racing over to my house. Both times she could not get anything into my mouth to help me. I not feel the lows coming on and was helpless. Living alone is very hard when I never know what my sugar will do. I keep waiting for Medicare to start covering the CGMS. I keep my A1C around 7 which helps some. And I also test alot.

  1. Pray that God’s angels will watch over you.
  2. Eat as low-carb as you can. Sorry for that bad news, but it really evens you out. I almost never go below 65, because I almost never over-estimate my insulin or its rate of absorption. I can do that for low-carb meals. I can’t do it well for high-carb meals.

p.s. I’m sympathetic, really I am.

I only went through this on a few occasions for the five years living alone w/ Type 1. Most of my relatives are in Louisiana. I moved to Dallas, TX after Hurricane Katrina eight years ago, now living alone after leaving a turbulent relationship with my only child's mother. It's tough living alone with diabetes, especially having a job where I don't have the luxury of working 40 hours every week and it's "full time". Just a month ago, I had to check myself into a hospital because of a foot ulcer, which would keep me from working. Luckily I did it sooner or else I would lose it. It's healing, though. My only concern, while I'm out on leave is when will the disability reimbursement start and what will I do once the rent is due? Have anyone here ever went through this or something similar to it or do you know someone who had went through or is going through this setback?