Living with diabetes – Breaking the stigma of diabetes

In recent years, we have become far more aware of how our words and actions can impact others. However, we are not so aware or thoughtful of our language around diabetes, with a stigma often associated with those living with diabetes. For example, the idea that people with diabetes are to blame for getting diabetes remains common.

Across Australia, millions of people face the daily challenges of living with one or more chronic conditions. As Australia’s fastest growing chronic condition, diabetes affects almost two million Australians, with 80 per cent of those having experienced some kind of stigma.

How can we break the stigma?

As a society, we need to have a better understanding of diabetes, awareness of the stigmatisation and knowledge of the ways to support people with diabetes.

Changes to attitudes can be made in:

  • Healthcare systems – talking to GPs or nurses about managing diabetes, and the psychological and physical consequences from negative social judgements, including delaying or skipping insulin in public.
  • Workplaces – raising awareness of and changing attitudes of fear surrounding diabetes and education around type 1 and type 2 diabetes and health management.
  • Community – taking steps to create and foster communities that are supportive and move away from criticism to avoid feelings of shame and emotional distress for people living with diabetes.

How can we look after each other?

Part of keeping ourselves healthy is to maintain daily activities, exercise routines and medication management. At times, we may find ourselves looking towards finding that helping hand with managing a chronic condition, reaching out to a support network and taking the time to care for ourselves if you’re caring for a loved one.

At Senior Helpers, we can help those living with diabetes to be independent and live life by offering tailored      services for diabetes management, assistance with meal preparation and maintaining nutrition, blood glucose monitoring, and planning activities to reduce depression and anxiety.

At Senior Helpers, we celebrate life and help you maintain your independence to enjoy the freedom of living independently. Find out more about our in-home care for Chronic Disease Management.

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