Type 1 diabetes is a real crisis for the child and his loved ones. This crisis significantly increases the problems of families in a difficult life situation. International studies and research of "KAF" charity foundation confirm that social problems within the family lead to a deterioration in the control of diabetes mellitus in a child, and this is already a direct threat to health. At the same time, millions of children around the world, with proper control of the disease, develop on an equal footing with their peers, play sports, travel, get the desired education and live a full life.
As part of a project supported by CSS, "KAF" charity foundation trains mentors of diabetes associations in 4 Russian regions (Kostroma, Kaluga, Vologda and Moscow regions) to help families. Mentors provide informational support, share personal experiences and stories, accompany families to social protection institutions to receive targeted assistance, and help solving problems related to adaptation at school and kindergarten. Such support is very important for families in a difficult life situation: parents feel more confident and calmer, quickly deal with all issues related to diabetes control, which in turn has a positive effect on the child.
With each new family that applied to the diabetes association to participate in the project, the project coordinator conducts a detailed conversation. Then, depending on the age of the child, the social and psychological characteristics of the family, as well as priority issues, a mentor is determined. Mentors conduct personal (group and individual) and online meetings (for wards from remote areas): diabetes schools to improve diabetes control and improve family life with a child with this disease, individual psychological consultations and group trainings.
Currently, 108 families in difficult life situations are receiving comprehensive medical and social support: 17 families in the Vologda region, 17 families in Kaluga, 15 families in Kostroma, and 59 families in Moscow region. Assistance is provided by 38 mentors trained under the project.
Mentors at group and individual face-to-face and online meetings teach parents of families in difficult life situations:
1. Count carbohydrates in food - bread units to calculate the dose of insulin.
2. Inject insulin.
3. Procedure for dealing with too low and too high blood glucose in a child.
4. Child care, nutrition, physical activity, school/kindergarten attendance.
Diabetes associations provide targeted assistance to families to improve self-management of the disease - modern glucometers (with the possibility of remote data transmission to the doctor and keeping observation diaries), sensors for continuous monitoring of blood glucose levels and test strips. In all regions there are currently difficulties with medical equipment, so help is in great demand.
In addition, the mentors of the diabetes associations inform about the medical and social assistance available in the place of residence and offer assistance in obtaining it.
The duration of family support is 3 months. The qualitative results of the work will be assessed after the end of support for families, mainly from July to November 2022, depending on the timing of the entry into the project of families of children with diabetes.
The project has been implemented as part of «Stronger with СSS» grant program since January 1, 2022.