On the Sunday before World Diabetes Day, Diabetes Ireland held an exhibition and series of workshops that attracted a large number of people from across Ireland. The 6 free health checks were in very high demand.
To celebrate World Diabetes Day, Diabetes Ireland has launched a new 50-page comprehensive “Living Well with Type 2 Diabetes” booklet and an online interactive, educational programme called “Diabetes Smart”.
Dr Anna Clarke, Health Promotion & Research Manager, Diabetes Ireland said “the launch by the HSE of the Type 2 Diabetes GP Cycle of Care initiative highlighted the need for quality patient information literature to be available in GP surgeries and Health centres. Diabetes Ireland, with the support of various diabetes companies, responded to produce this excellent suite of self-help tools for people with Type 2 diabetes”.
A diagnosis of Type 2 diabetes can be overwhelming for a person as many need to consider changing their diet, physical activity levels and may start taking new medication or testing their blood glucose levels. The greatest risk of Type 2 diabetes is to people aged over 40 years and this is a time when lifestyle habits are well established. Diabetes Ireland receive thousands of calls every year from people trying to understand the condition and take action to reduce the risk of future health complications. The health complications from poorly managed, or/and late diagnosis, Type 2 diabetes are sobering and real; blindness, limb amputations, stroke, heart disease and kidney disease.
“With as many as 80,000 people with Type 2 Diabetes eligible for the Cycle of Care initiative, Diabetes Ireland was determined that people with Type 2 diabetes have the relevant information at their fingertips whether as a booklet or online” added Anna.
The one stop booklet covers all aspects of managing Type 2 diabetes. The booklet content is extensive providing: a checklist to prepare for a diabetes review; risk factors, symptoms and explanations; practical information and tips; glucose targets; tips for managing health events such as hypo’s and diabetes in general; medications and their side-effects; healthy eating guidelines; exercise recommendations and entitlements under the Long-term illness scheme. Patients are provided with a checklist of everything needed for their diabetes review appointment, thereby maximising the benefits of the appointment with their GP and practice nurse, ultimately improving diabetes management and using HSE resources more efficiently.
Dr Tony O’Sullivan, a GP with Type 1 diabetes, who runs a busy Diabetic Clinic at Irishtown & Ringsend Primary Care commented “With the cycle of care programme now resourcing Type 2 diabetes care in general practice, this booklet from Diabetes Ireland is very timely. There is no doubt that people who are well informed and understand the condition are less afraid of it, and more likely to make the necessary lifestyle changes. I have always believed that membership of Diabetes Ireland offers much needed support and encouragement to people of all ages with diabetes and their families.”
The booklet is now available in 1300 GP surgeries throughout Ireland and as a download from www.diabetes.ie.
With more people than ever going online to source information, Diabetes Ireland, working with Trinity College, Dublin has also launched Diabetes Smart, an online series of videos, quizzes and visual tools for people to who wish to learn about healthy eating and exercise. Diabetes Smart is divided into 3 sections which are:
- Videos explaining the different forms of Diabetes.
- Healthy Eating guidelines with visuals of food types and portions; Quizzes to help understand foods that contain glucose along with tips on food shopping, eating out and reading food labels.
- The exercise section raises awareness that all movement is effective, gardening to cycling and a motivational testimonial video to help people to get started. It covers warming up exercises, strength & balance and how to overcome barriers that may stop us exercising despite our good intentions.
At the end of the 3 sections, there is a review and summary to help people cement their learning. “Many people want to learn at their own pace. Diabetes Smart allows people to dip in and out at their own pace thereby accumulating knowledge in bite-sizes which will make the period of changing to a healthier lifestyle easier “concluded Anna.
Diabetes Smart can be viewed at www.diabetes.ie under the Living Well with Type 2 Diabetes section on the homepage.
Astra Zeneca, Janssen, MSD, Novartis, Novo Nordisk and Sanofi Aventis provided educational grants for the book and the Diabetes Smart educational programme was supported by Trinity College and National Lottery Funds.