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Do you live with Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes? Or perhaps you know someone who does? Well, the 14th of November is a special day for people with diabetes and those who support them.
Why do we celebrate World Diabetes Day?
World Diabetes Day 2022 falls on 14 November. The date was chosen to mark the birthday of the co-discoverer of insulin and its therapeutic potential, Dr Frederick Banting. As a matter of fact, November was designated National Diabetes Awareness Month in the US in the early 1980s.
Spreading awareness of diabetes, its causes, impacts and treatments is an important way of getting people to talk about the condition. Special days like this one help educate the public, influence decision-makers, and raise money for diabetes-related initiatives.
In Australia, aside from the physical impacts, over 700,000 people who live with diabetes face emotional and mental health challenges. By celebrating World Diabetes Day on the 14 November each year, a conversation opens and some of the misconceptions about diabetes are challenged.
HeadsUp, an initiative of Diabetes Australia, urges the community to ‘rethink diabetes’, to reduce the blame with more understanding, reduce the burden with more compassion, and reduce the barriers for people to access support.
Is diabetes a disability?
Diabetes is a chronic condition that impacts people’s lives to varying degrees. It can affect them financially, physically and mentally, and sometimes, negatively impact their employment, education and relationships.
Under the NDIS, diabetes is not technically a disability. However, the NDIS may fund diabetes support if they’re related to a participant’s disability.
If the person has trouble managing their diabetes on their own because of their disability, the NDIS may also fund other supports to help. These are called diabetes management supports.
Diabetes management supports might include:
- Training for support workers in your specific disability support needs so they can support you to follow your Diabetes Care Plan
- a support worker to help you manage your diabetes for example, testing blood sugar levels or eating regular balanced meals
- a nurse if you have evidence you need a nurse to help you manage your diabetes.
The correlation between diabetes and disability
Diabetes and its complications are known to be leading causes of illness, disability and death in Australia. Diabetes can cause disability as it can be responsible for a range of health complications, including:
- Foot infections – Nerve damage and poor circulation can lead to amputation.
- Eye disease – Diabetic eye disease is the leading cause of blindness in adults under 75 in developed countries.
- Kidney disease – Impacts include the need for dialysis or transplant.
- Cardiovascular disease – Stroke and heart attack can result in debilitating (or life threatening) outcomes.
Conversely, disabilities that lead to physical inactivity may increase the risk of a person developing diabetes. Adults with intellectual disability are two to three times more likely to develop diabetes.
Find support for diabetes through Mable
You can get support for diabetes through Mable by:
- Using your NDIS funding
- Using your home care package funding
- Paying privately for support through Mable.
There are many types of support you can access through Mable if you (or a loved one) are living with diabetes. Through Mable, you can book independent support workers to assist you with:
- a regular exercise regimen
- Transport support to medical or other appointments
- Social support and community participation support
- Nutrition and dietetics consultations by Allied Health professionals
- Organising your fridge and pantry to make sure they are stocked with diabetic-friendly foods
- Meal preparation
- Setting up a practical ‘diabetes station’ that’s hygienic, well organised and stocked with items like test strips, your blood sugar monitor and test strips, syringes, medications, etc.)
- Personal care (showering, toileting, etc.)
- Nursing support.
By building a team of support workers on Mable, you can ensure you have the support workers with appropriate qualifications to assist you. To learn more, find out what qualifications your support worker needs to provide you with a specific type of support. For example, for social support or domestic assistance, a support worker needs to have basic skills but not tertiary qualifications. However, for a support worker to provide personal care, i.e toileting, showering, hoisting, manual handling, they must have specific qualifications.