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What will happen on World Diabetes Day?

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With World Diabetes Day just around the corner, we’ve taken a look ahead at this year’s theme and the events scheduled to raise awareness and funds for research into the condition, which now affects over 4 million people in the UK.

What is World Diabetes Day?

World Diabetes Day is the primary international awareness campaign for the condition, and is held each year on 14 November.

First introduced in 1991 by the International Diabetes Federation and the World Health Organization (WHO), the former chooses a new theme each year to raise awareness about a related topic, including:

  • ‘Diabetes and human rights’
  • ‘Diabetes and lifestyle’
  • ‘Diabetes and obesity’
  • ‘Diabetes in the disadvantaged and vulnerable’
  • ‘Diabetes in children and adolescents’

The event is marked by 230 International Diabetes Federation member associations from over 160 different countries and regions, as well as the UN, leading health bodies and countless companies.

Activities arranged for past events have included:

  • TV and radio shows
  • Sponsored and charity sporting events
  • Free diabetes screening
  • Public information campaigns
  • Media events
  • Artistic initiatives
  • Political events
  • Poster and leaflet campaigns

What’s scheduled for this year’s event?

The theme for this year’s event is ‘Eyes on diabetes’. This reference is multifaceted; it refers both to the 50% of adults with as yet undiagnosed diabetes, and the risk of diabetes-related vision loss that can occur if the diagnosis isn’t made early.

Currently, 476 events have been planned across 130 countries to mark World Diabetes Day 2016. Perhaps the most significant initiative this year is ‘Test2Prevent’ — a drive that aims to screen 1 million people for type 2 diabetes by the end of November.

Events have already been scheduled across the UK, including:

  • ‘World Diabetes Day’: an awareness raising exercise organised by The Hillingdon Hospital ‘Children and Young People with Diabetes’ team in Uxbridge for 14 November.
  • ‘The Blue Ball’: an event held in York on 25 November to raise funds for The Rebalance Foundation.
  • ‘Eyes on Diabetes’: a meeting and exhibition on 18 November in Oxford, organised by the Oxford Centre for Diabetes, Endocrinology and Metabolism.
  • ‘Blood Choir’: an ongoing event (concluding April 2017) in Newcastle that raises diabetes awareness using artistic techniques.
  • ‘Dab4Diabetes’: a national social media campaign to raise awareness, scheduled to end on 14 November.

Why is diabetes a concern for older people?

Diabetes is an especially pertinent concern for older people. The condition disproportionately affects people aged 40+, with many people remaining unaware of their condition for a decade or more.

This risk can be heightened further if a person gains weight or is required to adopt a more sedentary lifestyle; both factors that tend to affect people as they get older.

Studies have even shown a link between diabetes and the increased likelihood of a person developing dementia.

Now that you know what’s planned for World Diabetes Day 2016, why not get involved by finding an event in your area, or arranging one for your friends or colleagues?

The Good Care Group is a passionate advocate of causes that help older people maintain happiness and health in their own homes. Contact our friendly team to find out more about the causes we support, and how we help older people live with independence and dignity in their own homes.

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