Diabetes is a common condition that can affect both immediate and long-term health and wellbeing. Ballarat Community Health has a range of services and programs to assist people diagnosed with type 1, type 2 or pre-diabetes.
As with many things in life, the best way to learn to effectively manage your condition is through education! The more you know about health, nutrition, exercise and how all these factors can influence your management of diabetes, the better—and that’s where our diabetes educators come in. Diabetes educators are health professionals who have completed further study in diabetes care and are able to support you and your support persons in the management of your diabetes. You can be referred by another health professional or refer yourself.
Appointments will vary from 30 to 90 minutes in duration. Visit frequency will depend on individual need and may range from very frequent to yearly for routine update and review. Diabetes educators are located at Sebastopol, Wendouree, Lucas and Smythesdale Ballarat Community Health sites.
Diabetes educators can assist with:
- recently diagnosed diabetes
- ongoing support for clients and their support persons
- commencing insulin and adjusting insulin doses
- commencing other injectable diabetes medications or diabetes tablets
- managing blood glucose levels, highs and lows
- providing an update on diabetes management
- support for those with complex needs
- advice for those with a diagnosis of pre-diabetes
- education and support for workplaces and schools
- referral to other health professionals as appropriate
- liaison with GPs, specialists and other health professionals.
During an appointment, you may discuss topics such as medication, blood glucose testing, exercise, healthy eating, safety, illness, driving, workplaces, travel, advocacy, emotional health, lifestyle change, pregnancy, insulin delivery, NDSS and preventing complications.
Other health professionals and programs available to help support your diabetes education and management include dietitians, exercise physiologists, podiatrists, counsellors, social workers and onsite gyms. Clients can self-refer to any of these health professionals or referrals can be made at appointments.
Diabetes annual review clinic (DARC)
Research has found that a visit to your diabetes support team at least once a year is helpful for all people living with diabetes. Booking into the diabetes annual review clinic is a convenient way to see a diabetes educator and a dietitian in a single visit once a year. They can provide useful updates, ongoing support and a review of your diabetes management options.
For those already on the DARC list for yearly reviews, an appointment will be offered via a phone call from a customer service officer. You can also make an appointment or enquiry at any time by phoning (03) 5388 4500 or using ‘make an enquiry’ button to the right-hand side of your screen.
Small group programs for diabetes
Please note that you can self-refer or be referred by another health professional for all BCH diabetes programs.
- Diabetes: Getting Started
For people newly diagnosed with type 2 diabetes and their support persons. This 2¼ hour small group session will start you on the path of managing your diabetes. The group is facilitated by a diabetes educator and a dietitian, and includes provision of a blood glucose meter if required. Following this group individual appointments are scheduled for personalised support. More information can be found here.
- Carbohydrate Counting
This hands-on workshop is facilitated by a dietitian and a diabetes educator and is suitable for those with type 2 diabetes and their support persons. Some people with type 1 diabetes may also benefit. The main focus of the course is carbohydrate counting but the action of diabetes medications and safe management implications is also discussed. Those who attend will have a better understanding of carbohydrates and how they affect blood glucose levels.
- DAFNE (OzDAFNE) Dose Adjustment for Normal Eating
Less guesswork, more freedom, better health. OzDAFNE is an evidenced based self-management program run in small groups for adults with type 1 diabetes. Ballarat Community Health usually runs two DAFNE groups per year. Each group is run over five consecutive days (Monday to Friday 9:00-5:00pm) and is led by a OzDAFNE trained diabetes educator and dietitian. More information can be found here.
- Diabetes Support Group
This informal and friendly group, led by people living with diabetes, meets at our Sebastopol site from 4:00-6:00pm every second Monday of the month. Having a strong community of people sharing similar experiences can be a very powerful thing when you’re living with a chronic disease like type 2 diabetes. More information can be found here.
- Life! program
The Life! Program is a Victorian lifestyle modification program that helps you reduce your risk of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Many of the risk factors for diabetes and cardiovascular disease can be modified, such as diet, exercise and weight reduction. Life! aims to help people make simple and sustainable changes to their lifestyle to reduce the risk of developing diabetes and cardiovascular disease in a supportive and informative environment. More information can be found here.
Sharps containers are provided free of charge at all sites and accept full containers for disposal.