National Diabetes Week is held July 10-16th and is held every year to raise awareness about
diabetes. With over 1.8 million Australians having diabetes, it is considered the biggest challenge confronting Australia’s healthcare system. For every person diagnosed with diabetes, there is often a family member or carer who also ‘lives with diabetes’ every day in a support role. With diabetes the fastest growing chronic condition in Australia, this awareness week is a reminder of the significant impact diabetes has within our community1.
At Home Care Assistance we are aligned with Diabetes Australia’s focus for National Diabetes Week on challenging existing diabetes related stigma, as it can lead to people not sharing their diagnosis with others and not seeking the help and support they need to stay well and manage their diabetes properly.
Sadly, it has been found that four out of five people living with diabetes in Australia, have experienced stigma at some point, irrespective of the ‘type’ of diabetes people have been diagnosed with. Some reasons as to why people feel stigma when it comes to their diabetes can include:
- Being judged when eating specific foods
- Being blamed for causing their diabetes
- Being treated differently with unnecessary comments or stares when injecting insulin or having a hypo
- Feelings of shame and self-blame
This stigma can have a consequential impact on one’s mental and emotional health and can result in people disengaging from their diabetes healthcare. As there is no cure for diabetes, the condition requires lifelong management. When people become disengaged in properly managing their diabetes, this can cause an increased risk of serious diabetes-related complications.
Some of the most serious diabetes complications can include:
- Blindness: Diabetes is the leading cause of preventable blindness in Australia3.
- Amputations: in Australia there are more than 4,400 amputations every year as a result of diabetes with more than 1,700 people dying as a direct result of lower limb wounds or foot ulcers4.
- Heart Disease: The number one cause of death, affecting two thirds of all deaths for people with type 2 diabetes is heart disease. Between 11,000 to 33,000 Australians (1-3% of those with type 2 diabetes) will suffer a diabetes-related heart attack each year5.
- Kidney Disease: It is estimated over 360,000 Australians with diabetes are living with kidney disease with many on dialysis and/ or have received a kidney transplant6.
There is no doubt that integrating the emotional and mental aspects of diabetes is increasingly important when it comes to routine holistic care. That’s why at Home Care Assistance our proprietary Balanced Care Method™ for all our clients involves a holistic approach for a healthy mind, body, and spirit. Not just focussing on healthy nutrition and physical activity but also overall mental wellness through cognitive stimulation and a sense of calm.
Our compassionate Care Workers at Home Care Assistance can care for you or your loved one who has diabetes. Additionally, if your loved one is recovering from a serious diabetes- related complication and requires short-term, ongoing or 24-hour additional in-home care, Home Care Assistance can provide essential assistance with things such as:
- Medication reminders
- Mobility assistance
- Personal assistance, including hygiene and dressing
- Meal preparation and shopping
- Exercise encouragement and support
- Transportation and errands assistance
When it comes to managing your diabetes, you do not need to do it alone or be silent about requiring additional support and assistance to manage this chronic condition. It is about time we help change the conversation and challenge the stigma of existing beliefs people may have about diabetes. Instead, we should give the huge number of Australians who do have diabetes the support they need to manage and live well with the disease. After all, how would you feel if you were judged for living with a health condition that anyone can get?
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As a leading age care provider, Home Care Assistance offers tailored in-home care services for older Australians, enabling them to live happier and healthier lives in the comfort of their own homes.
We offer private and government subsidised Care Packages and have office locations that are a registered NDIS provider. Our Care Workers undergo extensive training in order to deliver unmatched in-home aged care services where people can continue ageing in place. We are proud ambassadors of the My Aged Care government funded aged care program, enabling Australians to successfully navigate the process and gain approval for in-home care support packages. Home Care Assistance offers hourly care, specialised care, Alzheimer’s and Dementia care, hospital to home care, and 24 hour in home care.