JDRF Launches Program to Support Adults with Type 1 Diabetes
JDRF recognizes that as people grow older, interests, priorities and needs change – especially for adults with type 1 diabetes who must make additional adjustments to manage and cope with the disease. As a result, JDRF has developed an innovative program based on connection points (from the point of diagnosis and beyond) to identify with and support the evolving needs and priorities of the adult with type 1 diabetes. The initiative seeks to engage and provide the adult type 1 diabetes community with support and resources by establishing specific content and tools around Life Stages, the phases of a person’s life living with the disease – point of diagnosis; relationships and marriage; pregnancy and children; in the workplace; and dealing with possible complications.
As part of this initiative, the Adult Type 1 Toolkit will serve as an essential “how-to” guidebook by providing practical medical information and insight for the adult with type 1 diabetes. Written by adults who also have type 1 diabetes, the Toolkit includes advice for the newly diagnosed on how to deal with the diagnosis and management, and also addresses the psychological impact and different feelings that come with having to live with a chronic disease. Often patients experience feelings of shock, denial, fear, grief, loss, hopelessness, or depression upon hearing the news of their diagnosis.
Helpful advice is also given for the adult who has lived with type 1 diabetes for many years, and includes advice on how to tell friends, how to juggle the demands of diabetes at work, and how living with the disease impacts relationships, marriage, and parenting. The Toolkit teaches the patient to help others understand the disease, especially what to do in emergency situations. The Toolkit also provides useful information on handling day-to-day activities with type 1 diabetes, including tips and information on diet and exercise, travel, work, and addresses the impact of type 1 diabetes on women’s and men’s health.
In addition, the Toolkit will offer services connecting the adult with type 1 diabetes with a network of other adults with the disease as well as “expert listeners,” JDRF volunteers who have experienced living life as an adult with type 1 diabetes and can relate to the unique experiences and challenges, thus providing a real, live support system for the patient. The Toolkit is available at the North Central CT/Western MA JDRF chapter or by visiting www.jdrf.org/adults.