The role of families in supporting people living with diabetes is being highlighted as part of this year’s World Diabetes Day on November 14
Diabetes Australia has called for World Diabetes Day this year to be about celebrating and acknowledging the families that help those living with diabetes.
Launceston’s John Morris Diabetes Centre formed its own family earlier in the year through creating a Consumer Reference Group.
Made up of people in the area living with diabetes, the group has been working to co-design clinical and support services for consumers of the centre.
JMDC acting manager Sam Beattie said the right support can help break down “the feeling of difference” experienced by those who are diagnosed.
“The Consumer Reference Group is a space where people get to hear each others stories,” she said.
“Parents get to speak with each other in constructive ways about what it means to care for someone with diabetes, as well as what it is to be a community.”
Graeme Barlow has been living with Type 1 diabetes for more than five decades, having been diagnosed when he was 21. Now in his 70s, he said he wanted to use his experience with the disease to help younger people.
“As someone who has lived through it, I just wanted to put my hand up to assist,” he said.
“I consider myself lucky in the way that when I was diagnosed, I was still an adult able to make decisions.”
At the other end of the age spectrum is 23-year-old Mikayla McCormack.
She was pleased to have the opportunity to improve the service.
“I didn’t know what to expect at first, but it has been good to give feedback,” she said.