What Kinds of Programs and Services are Available for People with Diabetes?

If you have diabetes or are a friend or family member of someone with diabetes, it's important to find places where you can learn about diabetes, be in a supportive environment and have access to services that help manage diabetes.

Every day, people with diabetes make important decisions about managing their disease. There are many ways to find programs and services in your community that will help you with those decisions. These kinds of organizations often have programs to help you:

Diabetes Education Centres (DECs)

Diabetes education centres, or DECs, provide diabetes education both to people who are newly diagnosed and to those who have had diabetes for many years. Diabetes education sessions cover important topics, like:

  • healthy eating and physical activity
  • how to monitor your blood glucose levels
  • safely taking insulin and diabetes medication
  • managing your stress
  • prevention of complications
  • foot care.

DECs can be found in many locations across Canada; ask your healthcare provider.

Diabetes Information Sessions and Forums

To help you become more familiar with diabetes, organizations like the Canadian Diabetes Association, Diabete Québec and Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation offer a wide range of activities to keep you up-to-date. These include information sessions, forums, breakfast meetings and lunch-time meetings with speakers. Diabetes experts, healthcare professionals, videos or demonstrations are usually part of the sessions.

Support Groups

Peer support groups are often used by people with diabetes. These groups are managed by facilitators who are volunteers and peers with the group members. They offer an opportunity for people with diabetes to regularly share their experiences and support each other. You don't have to have diabetes; there are also groups for families of people with diabetes.

Contact the Canadian Diabetes Association office nearest to you to find out about peer-support groups in your region. Ask the DEC in your community or your healthcare team about other diabetes-related support groups in your community.

Additional Resources

Adapted from material prepared by the Canadian Diabetes Association. This FAQ appeared originally on the Canadian Health Network Web site and has been edited for publication by the Public Health Agency of Canada.

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