For those with diabetes and their families, different sources of support can be found in many locations. In larger towns and cities, there are typically support groups that meet at preset times and places. For those without access to in-person support groups, there are also online forums that can help. Both of these kinds of groups can be all-inclusive or focus on the specific needs of those suffering from diabetes. Outside of support groups, there are also several organizations, such as the American Diabetes Association (ADA), that provide information and resources for patients and their families.
Traditional support groups can meet at varying levels of frequency, although one to two times a month is common. Diabetes support groups often meet in a public building while some hold meetings in one or more members’ homes. These groups can focus on diabetes as a whole or specific problems related to the condition, such as diabetes diets or dealing with medical insurance issues. There is also diabetes support available for family members alone or the family as a whole, which can allow patients and their loved ones a place to discuss and learn how to deal with the disease.
In some areas, diabetes support is unavailable in the form of a local support group; in addition, some patients would prefer not to take the time to go to meetings. In these cases, diabetes support can be found online at hundreds of diabetes forums. These groups are typically supportive and easy-going places where members can post questions and provide answers to others as well as garnering well-wishes for any major medical or life issues they may be facing. Much like traditional support groups, the focus of these groups can vary from diabetes as a whole to specific concerns about diabetes.
With both traditional and Internet-based support groups, there are several options available for people of all lifestyles and in all stages of the disease. There are often specific groups for children with diabetes and support groups for parents of those children. There are also primarily female diabetes support groups as well as groups for those of various ethnicities.
Other than diabetes support groups, there are several organizations such as the ADA that provide resources and information to patients and their families. These organizations will often provide information on reputable support groups, organize fundraising events for research, and help patients retain their rights in the workplace and with insurance companies. Whether diabetes patients require emotional or information support for their disease, there is usually some form of support available to almost anyone.