Want some tips to get community help for diabetes and learn how to access it? This is the place to find out.
There are a number of available resources in most communities. These can offer educational training, information and emotional support for individuals with diabetes and/or their caregivers, as outlined below.
Community resources for support
Diabetes Education Centres – There are a network of Diabetes Education Centres (DECs) in communities across Canada.
These centres are staffed by both certified diabetes educators and experienced volunteers. They provide diabetes education to people who are newly diagnosed and to others who have had the condition for years.
DECs run education sessions covering many valuable topics. Typical topics include:
- Healthy lifestyle habits
- Monitoring blood glucose levels
- Managing anxiety and stress
- Managing medications and taking insulin
- Preventing complications
- Foot and eye care
The diabetes team will also be able to refer you to a convenient centre.
Registered dietitians (RDs). Dietitians’ specialized skills in healthy eating and nutrition can help provide the necessary support to meet diabetes management goals. If your primary healthcare provider doesn’t work with a dietitian, check out the Dietitians of Canada website to find a dietitian in your area. Some grocery stores also have a dietitian on staff.
Community pharmacists. Ask your pharmacist for a one-on-one consultation to understand each of your medications and to review the medication schedule. You will also get strategies and tools to help manage your medications and your condition. Some pharmacists are Certified Diabetes Educators which means they have received additional training in diabetes.
Your pharmacist can also help you choose the right diabetes products and supplies for your specific needs.
Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. This is a great place to get support for young people with diabetes and their family members. Support programs include:
- Bag of Hope. This free satchel comes with support and information for children or youth and their families. It is designed for those newly diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, and provides a variety of educational and reference materials.
Children under 12 also get a plush bear aimed to help them learn about insulin injections.
- Mentor Program. Families and individuals living with type 1 diabetes can get one-on-one support from trained volunteers. These are people who have experienced and understand the daily challenges you face. They can provide support and connect you with local resources.
Learn more about the JDRF mentor program in your area.
Religious centres, service clubs and community centres. Many of these community organizations provide programs and volunteer services to help people who face challenges in independent living. These programs can range from volunteer visitors to community centre meals and activities.
The Diabetes Canada Information Line. This toll-free line gives you access to experienced staff who will answer questions and help refer you to community resources. Call 1-800-BANTING (226-8464).
Chinese information line: For services in Cantonese or Mandarin, call toll-free 1-888-666-8586, on Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 9.00 am to 12.00 pm.