An easy way to learn to look after your diabetes a step at a time – by Kathryn Kirchner
More than 6,000 people with diabetes have already signed up to our new – and free – online Learning Zone. Our clinical advisor for education Kat, one of the team behind it, tells you how it can help you.
We know that if you have diabetes you only get 3 hours altogether a year with your GP and diabetes team if you’re lucky. It’s so helpful if you can get onto a diabetes education course like DAFNE, DESMOND or XPERT but it can be hard and you may have to wait. So we decided to come up with something that was free and easy to use at any time you like on your mobile, PC or other device.
Learning Zone gives you tailored information about how you can manage your diabetes from people who have diabetes themselves. You’ll answer a few questions when you register so the right diabetes advice is given to you. It often depends on things like what type of diabetes you have the treatment you’re on. You then get videos and information specifically for you so you don’t have to sift through and find the stuff that applies to you.
There’s not much reading involved as lots of information is given by video, through games and other tools. You’ll hear real stories and advice from people living with Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes talking about a range of topics – like Lorna, Kate, Mel and Ross (pictured left to right above) on things like:
- How they look after their own diabetes
- The things they do to stay well
- How they talk to their doctor or nurse about diabetes
You can use Learning Zone any way that you like. You can sit down with it on a Sunday afternoon with a cup of tea and use it for an hour or so, or you can do little bits here and there as you wait for the bus or in the queue to order lunch. It remembers where you are, so you don’t have to find your place when you come back next time.
Anyone with Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes will find it relevant but you’ll find it particularly helpful if you’ve:
- recently been diagnosed with diabetes
- had diabetes for a while but would like to get back up to date and take better care of yourself
- recently switched from diet and exercise to tablets or from tablets onto insulin
I love working with people living with diabetes to make sure that everything we put up on the Learning Zone is geared towards what they want to see – as well as being up to date. We ask them at the start which topics are important, and what specific things they most want to know.
For example, we’re making our new content for physical activity, so I’ve been visiting local groups to talk about would be most useful for them. We talked a lot about having access to local exercise groups, specific examples of what exercises are good to do, for how long and how often, and also practical checklists of how to take care of diabetes when doing more exercise. We then go away and make videos and animations on these topics.
I’m really enjoying working with others in the Learning Zone team. We wanted to make sure that not only is it medically correct, but also interesting and fun to use. People tell us that too many information videos and leaflets are quite boring and use lots of jargon and we work well as a team to make sure everything’s simple and easy to understand.
Go to our Learning Zone to register and get started – it’s quick, easy and free.