Boost Your Diabetes Care With These Community Resources
Let's face it: type 2 diabetes is an incredibly challenging condition to manage. You can utilize several resources to support you in what you need when you need it.
6 areas of support with type 2 diabetes
You don't need to face diabetes alone. We will outline 6 different areas of support that may be available to you, whether peer support or community resources.
1. Your network of friends and family
Your most constant diabetes network of support is likely your friends or family. They see all the challenges and successes you face on a regular basis with diabetes self-care. They are likely your biggest allies against diabetes, although they may struggle to express their support. It can be hard to feel supported by friends or family who aren't dealing with diabetes. So, be direct in what you need and how they can help you.
2. Peers with type 2 diabetes
Connecting with others with type 2 diabetes, online or in person, can be valuable in feeling understood, heard, or validated. Medical professionals and close loved ones can be kind and compassionate, but rarely can they replace someone who "gets it" because they live it, too. Whether constant or intermittent, support from others with type 2 diabetes can be beneficial!
3. Local food banks
With soaring grocery prices that don't seem to improve and financial hardship due to layoffs, I'm hearing more and more concern about food prices.
While state and federal resources can sometimes help, they may not be enough to make sure you're getting the nutrition you need. Your local food banks are often an excellent resource for all types of foods. Some previous requirements for food banks have been loosened due to the impact of the pandemic.
4. Free or low-cost local health clinics
Whether in-between jobs, working for a company that does not offer health insurance benefits, or something else, not having healthcare coverage is a big deal.
It means you can't get medications paid for or even filled. There's no one to turn to for routine care, let alone for help managing a complication or diabetes. If your community is large enough (and lucky enough) to have a free clinic, use it. Many offer more than a regular checkup, with dentists, optometrists, other specialists, and medications often available.
5. Community centers and walking trails
"The same folks always seem to show up at the same time," one of my clients said. And it's true. Often there's a community built around these resources at community centers, libraries, and nearby parks. Sometimes seeing "the regulars" on your walks can give you a sense of togetherness, even if you don't walk in tandem. This is also true of group exercise classes or fitness centers.
6. Diabetes-related technology
If you're considering using diabetes technology such as a smart insulin pen, insulin pump, continuous glucose monitor, etc., you may be overwhelmed by the options. Or, worse, your provider only recommends 1 type—and you're unsure if it's the right fit. You need the voice of the people, the people with diabetes who've used these devices.
DiabetesWise is a project by the Stanford University School of Medicine that can help you find the proper diabetes devices for your lifestyle. It can be a helpful resource for exploring your technology options.
There are so many ways to make community connections! So go exploring: it all can play an essential role in your diabetes health.
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