14 Wishes for Families Affected by Diabetes
With 425 million people living with diabetes worldwide very few families have escaped the effects of this chronic illness. Aiming to address its impact, the International Diabetes Federation has made The Family and Diabetes the theme for World Diabetes Day for both 2018 and 2019.
When you or a loved one has diabetes it’s a source of worry. Diabetes demands constant care and attention. And while the treatments and prognosis have dramatically improved over the years, managing life with diabetes is still challenging and expensive.
My wishes for families affected by type 2 diabetes:
Looking ahead as we commemorate World Diabetes Day I have a few wishes for all people touched by diabetes (patients, families, and caregivers alike).
1. Affordable healthcare
No one should have to choose between food on their table, a roof over their head, or medicine to stay alive and healthy.
2. Easy access to quality healthcare
Early diagnosis and continuity of care can only happen when healthcare is readily available. Having to travel hundreds of miles or spend hours on public transportation to see a doctor presents a significant barrier to accessing healthcare.
3. Affordable essential diabetes medicines and medical supplies
Diabetes is expensive. When it costs hundreds or thousands of dollars each month to manage diabetes, patients and their families are forced into making difficult choices.
4. Effective care and follow-up care for everyone experiencing gestational diabetes
1-in-10 pregnant women develop gestational diabetes, but its impact doesn’t end at delivery. Within 10 years about half of those women go on to develop type 2 diabetes.
5. Easy access to culturally-informed diabetes education
It’s not enough to simply translate educational materials developed in the US or Europe into the local language. The challenges each person faces is shaped by their culture and community. Diabetes education needs to address the individual.
6. Social inclusion and support
Social isolation and loneliness can lead to depression and cognitive decline. Diabetes already raises the risk of developing these debilitating conditions. Social support counters these tendencies and improves quality of life.
7. An end to diabetes stigma
Stigma leads to isolation and undermines self-care. Remember: no one chooses to have diabetes. There is no place for blame or shame in managing diabetes.
8. An end to obesity stigma
See wish number seven.
9. Affordable, healthful foods
The quality of the food we eat can support or undermine our health in general and our blood glucose management in particular. Easy access to healthful foods is one cornerstone of effectively managing diabetes.
10. Safe and secure communities
Safe, secure communities support health. Our community can either add to our stress levels or provide a sense of calm and security. Everyone deserves to feel safe.
11. Clean air, water, and land
Poisons in our environment lead to more illness. A clean environment supports our health.
12. Economic stability and security
Our economic status has a direct impact on our health, both as a source of stress and resources that allow access to healthcare. Wild fluctuations in costs can be as disruptive as not having a stable income.
13. Every community to encourage exercise
Our bodies need to move. Regular exercise makes us strong, keeps our mind clear, and supports our health. Daily exercise is another cornerstone of effectively managing diabetes. How we build our cities and town can encourage or undermine our efforts to be active as part of our daily routine.
14. An enduring cure that restores full metabolic function to all people affected by diabetes
This is my biggest wish for everyone affected by diabetes. If/when an enduring cure happens all our lives will immeasurably improve. And a tremendous amount of resources (time, energy, money) will be freed up that can be put to making a better world and life for everyone.
When it comes to type 2 diabetes, I'm most worried about:
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