ConnecT1ons will give parents a much-needed break and connect them with other parents.
By Dr Elizabeth Holmes-Truscott
Diabetes Victoria is supporting a new crowdfunding campaign to fund ConnecT1ons, an event for parents and carers of children with type 1 diabetes. This event will enable parents to connect with other families, learn about the latest developments in diabetes management and, importantly, have a much-needed break from their child’s day-to-day diabetes management.
Parents play a pivotal role in supporting their children to self-manage their type 1 diabetes. Depending on the child’s age and needs, this can involve many tasks, performed numerous times each and every day. For example, counting carbohydrates in meals & snacks, calculating insulin doses and administering insulin injections, checking blood glucose levels throughout day and night, and monitoring their child for other signs of hypoglycaemia (low blood glucose). Many parents of children with type 1 diabetes describe their overwhelming feelings of worry about their child, and the added burden and responsibility of diabetes management on top of all the usual parental and family responsibilities. You can read more about the psychological distress experienced by parents of children with type 1 diabetes in this systematic review, and in our Diabetes MILES Youth study report. These quotes from two parents illustrates how many feel: “glucose levels are constantly in your mind from when you open your eyes in the morning to when you turn in at night… I often think I’d better get up now I’m awake to test my daughter” and “[There is] no relief in sight for this ever going away. I personally will never totally ever be at ease again”.
Diabetes Victoria’s Consumer Advisor and Families Coordinator, Kim Henshaw, recently conducted 34 interviews with parents and carers of children with type 1 diabetes. Parents spoke of the importance of connections with other families who have a child with type 1 diabetes. This peer support can help to validate parents’ experiences and concerns – knowing they are not alone, that other families are struggling with similar issues and understand what they are going through. However, parents rarely have the opportunity to meet other parents of children with type 1 diabetes. Attending ConnecT1ons will help connect parents and carers of children with type 1 diabetes. Importantly, ConnecT1ons will also give parents and carers a much-needed break, as they will have the reassurance that, while they are at ConnecT1ons, their children are being cared for at Diabetes Camps Victoria.
The crowdfunding campaign will run for one week from Monday 27 August. All donations will go directly towards funding ConnecT1ons. Raising $15,000 will enable Diabetes Victoria to run one ConnecT1ons event for 100 parents while their children are safe and having fun at Diabetes Camp. By raising $30,000 Diabetes Victoria can run 2 of these events, helping 200 parents.
You can support the campaign by: