According to recent statistics, South Asians, the fastest growing immigrant population and the second-largest visible minority in Canada and are 3 to 5 times more likely to have diabetes than the caucasian population. While many of us either live or care for someone with diabetes in our families, we may often have questions that may not get answered and getting access to some of the answers may not be easy. Now there’s a way for you as a caregiver be connected to those just like you. Diabetes Care Community is Canada’s first social network and resource for families of those living with someone with diabetes.
Now caregivers have an online community to help them support and motivate their loved ones to better manage their condition. The Diabetes Care Community focuses on families of people living with diabetes, and will also appeal to all people involved in diabetes care – people with diabetes, their support network, and health care providers. Site content includes blogs from six leading health care professionals – two physicians, a nurse, a dietitian, a pharmacist and a social worker – writing about healthy eating, physical activity, emotional support, medication, ‘Staying on Track’ and ‘What’s New’.
We had a chance to ask Shelley Diamond, Pharmacist and President of the Diabetes Care Community Inc. about how the site works and how it will help in the care of those who have diabetes.
What was the inspiration for launching this site?
To create an engaging place where people can connect around diabetes-related issues – a place where families living with diabetes will come to learn, share experiences and help support one another. We also wanted to ensure our visitors receive trustworthy information about diabetes.
How does the site work?
The site’s information is organized around important topics – Basics (fundamental information about every aspect of diabetes), Healthy Living, Medication and Staying on Track (monitoring, control, complications etc.). Our visitors will also find a comprehensive, searchable list of products in our Canadian Diabetes Product Directory. When people join they can add to or start discussions and submit comments to the expert’s blogs.
Why is a social community something caregivers need?
Caregivers are an important member of the health care team. They have a large influence on the family member they are supporting, and in some cases are the person responsible for making all of the management decisions (e.g. a parent of a child, a wife who is cooking for her husband with diabetes).
Do members have access to health care experts? Questions can be submitted to Diabetes Care Community and we can direct these to the health care professionals to answer through future blogs. There is no direct connection to them or they wouldn’t be able to work in their other jobs!
What kind of gap were you hoping to fill?
We observed significant gaps in the Canadian market place:
1. While there are many U.S. sites where people can connect in Canada, there was no online destination that allowed for families living with diabetes to connect with one another – a place to share experiences and support one another.
2. In Canada there was no site that reached out to and welcomed family caregivers of people living with diabetes. This is a population of at least 3 million influential and involved Canadians who were essentially being ignored.
3. We also discovered that there is no comprehensive, searchable directory of Canadian diabetes products.
4. Finally, we saw that people were unsure about health information they found on the Internet. Diabetes Care Community will make a difference in peoples’ lives by filling these gaps.
For more information visit: www.diabetescarecommunity.ca
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