The outbreak of COVID-19 is impacting all of us. You might be self-isolating at home but it’s still important to keep up with your routine diabetes care arrangements. Now more than ever it is important to Be Connected to your diabetes healthcare team.

There are now telehealth options (medical appointments provided via video or phone) that mean you can continue to receive health care without leaving your home.

It is very important that you don’t delay accessing urgent medical care if you need it. Health services have plenty of arrangements in place to keep you safe if you need to visit your GP clinic or hospital.

It’s also more important than ever to stay connected to your support network. Now is a time when people might feel distracted, anxious or worried with the constant news and the changes to the way we live our lives. It’s important to Be Connected to your family and friends.

We also understand that some people may be struggling with their mental health during these challenging times. Mental health is more important than ever and there are many options available to help you. To find out more, please click here

Be Connected to your health team

Attending your regular medical appointments with your doctor (GP or specialist), credentialled diabetes educator (CDE) and other health professionals is important for your diabetes management and overall health. It’s important not be skip appointments during COVID-19.

If you are worried about visiting a medical practice in person, contact your health professional by phone to discuss your concerns. Healthcare professionals have processes in place to manage social distancing and some are equipped to have over the phone or video consultations (telehealth).

Cheryl Steele CDE has an important message for people with diabetes about staying connected to their health team during COVID-19.

Regular health appointments help people stay healthy. If issues do arise, like changes in in vision or foot problems, it's really important to seek medical help.

Remember, Be Connected. Be Healthy.

Watch the video below.

Telehealth

The Australian Government has introduced new telehealth services to allow people to have medical, nursing and allied health consultations with their healthcare team without leaving home.

This will make it easy for you to speak with your doctor or diabetes health professional in a telephone of video consultation while you stay at home.

People with diabetes will be able to have telephone or video consultations with GPs, CDEs, nurse practitioners, psychologists and other allied health professionals.

This will help people to continue to access essential health services and reduce potential exposure to COVID-19.

Access to these Medicare-funded telehealth services is available from 30 March 2020 until 30 September 2020. All services will be bulk billed so there should be no cost to you.

People with diabetes requiring a medical or other health consultation are encouraged to contact their health professional and discuss telehealth options.

To find out more, please visit the Department of Health website here.

Click here to download your telehealth checklist

Call us for support

The hours for the NDSS National Helpline have been extended to give greater support for people with diabetes during the COVID-19 pandemic. The new hours are:

  • Monday to Friday - 8:30am to 8:00pm
  • Saturday - 9:00am to 2:00pm

If you have any questions about COVID-19 and your diabetes, you need a bit of extra support, or you are struggling with your diabetes management during this time - please don’t hesitate to call the helpline on 1800 637 700 where you can:

  • Talk to a health professional about managing your diabetes
  • Get advice about specific diabetes information related to COVID-19 find out how to access health services and support during this time
  • Discuss access to NDSS products and diabetes medications.

When should I access telehealth and when should I see a health professional in person?

Click here to download our when to telehealth vs face-to-face guide

Be Connected with your support network

Now more than ever, it’s important to stay connected to your family, friends and support networks to maintain positive mental health. You may not be able to meet face to face in times of social distancing, but there are still ways to keep in touch.

  • Organise a virtual dinner party via an online platform like Zoom, Skype or House Party
  • Organise regular calls and keep in touch via text
  • Chat using online platforms like What’s App or Messenger
  • Chat with your neighbour over the fence
  • Join in conversations on social media platforms
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