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Supporting People with Diabetes

 

In these times, living with diabetes is not easy as COVID-19 has brought extra challenges for every member of our community. It is crucial for a person with diabetes to have optimal control of their condition, so they are best protected in the event of any illness.

 

Optimising diabetes management requires daily decision-making regarding food choices, activity levels and taking medication. Knowing that help, advice, education, care, and support is available from Diabetes Ireland is an added benefit to the support received from your GP or diabetes healthcare team.

 

Over the past 12 months, Diabetes Ireland has continued to evolve and now hosts many of its education services online. Looking forward into 2022, we will continue to focus on;

 

  • Maintaining our helpline so we are available for people with concerns and queries.
  • Increasing our online presence and developing a number of online awareness campaigns that increase understanding of diabetes and its impact.
  • Delivering a range of education webinars and programmes to our community ensuring there is content that will be of benefit for everyone whether you have Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes.
  • Delivering 28 virtual Type 2 diabetes Code programmes.
  • Launching our new and updated user friendly Diabetes Smart education programme for people with Type 2 Diabetes & Pre-Diabetes.
  • Keeping our Care Centres open in Dublin and Cork and ensure that people with diabetes can be seen for both eyecare and footcare screening.
  • Advocating for improved HSE diabetes services nationwide and tackling the issues that are important to our community.

 

Our diabetes helpline, online and social media channels remain open with direct telephone access to our diabetes healthcare professionals for all those who personally contact us for up-to-date government information on COVID 19 and practical diabetes management information in the absence of public service diabetes services. Access to our online services via our website and social media platforms is increasing daily with 116,000 users accessing our website in the first nine months of 2021.

 

Our Care Centre services in Dublin and Cork are now fully operational providing podiatry services (click here to make an appointment) and access to Diabetic RetinaScreen services each day. Our Counselling services are also available via one-to-one virtual appointments (click here for more information).

 

During 2021, we continue to hold a range of educational webinars and programmes for people living with diabetes and their families. Some of these webinars and programmes were specifically for people with Type 1 diabetes or Type 2 diabetes while others were for everyone living with diabetes. This year, many different areas were highlighted and discussed including:

 

  • Type 2 Diabetes Preventing Cardiovascular disease: What steps can I take
  • Type 2 diabetes & Diet – Going beyond the Basics
  • Research in Diabetes: Improving Diabetes and finding a cure
  • Diabetes & Menopause
  • Gestational Diabetes Diagnosis and Management
  • Preparing for Pregnancy with diabetes

 

The aim of the webinars is to provide people with practical information around the challenges of living with diabetes at this time. They are delivered by doctors, nurses and dietitians covering a wide range of relevant topics and for 2022 we plan to continue hosting monthly education webinars. Registration will normally be through our website or email invites so do keep an eye on our website, your emails or sign up to our ezine.

 

We also hosted 7 Diabetes Emotional Wellbeing Virtual Workshops, for Parents of Children & Teens with Type 1 Diabetes. Over 80 parents attended these workshops providing very positive feedback. In 2022, we hope to provide similar workshops for adults living with Type 1 & Type 2 Diabetes.

 

In 2022, we also hope to offer further education programmes such as “Carb Counting & Self Mangement” for people living with Type 1 diabetes, interested in accessing new technologies and gain a basic understanding of insulin dose adjustment. For people living with Type 2 diabetes, we also hope to deliver our “Ask the Expert” programme which provides access to essential diabetes advice from HCPs on varying aspects of diabetes self-management.

 

For people with Type 2 diabetes who may wish to take part in a peer-to-peer programme facilitated by a Dietitian/Diabetes Nurse Specialist, you can also register for CODE, our virtual Type 2 diabetes structured education programme. Click here to register. The programme which provides information on all aspects of living with Type 2 diabetes consists of 4 x 2-hour sessions for 16 people delivered over 3 consecutive weeks and a final 2-hour session after 6 months and is available free of charge from Diabetes Ireland.

 

For schools and students nationwide, we also continue to educate and support teachers and Special Needs Assistants in the management of school going children with Type 1 diabetes via online virtual platforms.

 

To help ensure we keep our services open for whatever length of time it takes to beat COVID-19, make a donation today.

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