Diabetes WA has launched a new webinar series to support people with diabetes, following a spike in enquiries to its dedicated diabetes Helpline as more Western Australians seek advice and support amid the COVID-19 outbreak.
The volume of calls and emails to the Helpline almost doubled in March, up by more than 43 per cent compared to January, with enquiries continuing to flood the Helpline since the start of April. The Helpline hours have since been extended to keep up with increased demand, with callers now able speak to a Credentialled Diabetes Educator from 8.30am to 8pm five days a week.
“We wanted to ramp up support for Western Australians living with diabetes since COVID-19 restrictions forced the postponement of face-to-face workshops. So the health professional team at Diabetes WA have also launched a series of educational webinars, Diabetes WA LIVE, to help answer any questions people may have during the pandemic”, Diabetes WA Clinical Services Manager Carly Luff said.
Sheryl from Dongara lives with type 1 diabetes, and said that the webinars have helped to ease her anxieties.
While she is only leaving her house to shop for groceries, Sheryl said her biggest fear during the outbreak is contracting the virus and not knowing how to cope. But after finding out about the webinars via email, Sheryl has taken part in two sessions and has found them useful to put her mind at ease.
“I did two webinars – one for coping with COVID and one for sick day management,” she said, adding that she had asked questions in the session about “how to set up a sick day plan when I don’t really have a team to help”.
Hosted by Credentialled Diabetes Educators and free to National Diabetes Services Scheme (NDSS) registrants, the webinar sessions cover a range of diabetes management topics from blood glucose management and sick day plans to staying on track and being prepared during the COVID-19 outbreak.
In addition to the webinars for people living with diabetes, there is also a series available for health professionals who may be seeking advice on how they can provide the right diabetes advice to their patients.
“It is important that people living with diabetes continue to manage their diabetes. Having access to online information sessions can help provide people with ongoing support”, Carly said.
The webinars can be accessed via a smart phone, tablet or computer, with new sessions to be added regularly which will draw from frequently asked questions that come through the Helpline.
The Diabetes WA Helpline is available Monday to Friday from 8.30am to 8pm. Call 1300 001 880.