Taking an active role in your health to ensure your diabetes is well managed is the best way to take control of your wellbeing. This includes regularly taking and recording your blood glucose readings and ensure the correct amount of insulin is injected.People living in the region of Central Canada have access to various diabetes programs aimed at helping prevent Type 2 diabetes before it starts, and learning how to manage Type 1 or Type 1 2 diabetes if a diagnosis has already been received.

Quebec

Over 9.5% of Quebec’s population lives with diabetes. Quebec offers programs that help those who are newly diagnosed or those who want to take better control of their diabetes and health. Many of these programs encourage the participation of relatives so that an understanding of the disease and care tips can be provided.

 

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Offerings

The Prevention Diabetes website focuses on disease prevention and recognizing the early warning signs of diabetes. This website has a test that visitors can take to assess their risk for developing the disease, and steps that can be taken to lower the chances of a diabetes diagnosis. Some of the specific preventative topics include:

  • Physical activity
  • Food
  • Weight Management
  • Stress
  • Smoking
  • Alcohol

The Diabetes Quebec website provides information on understanding and living with diabetes. This site talks about the four pillars of balance:

The psychology section is especially helpful, as it addresses topics that are often forgotten, including coping with a diabetes diagnosis, living with a person with diabetes, learning to manage stress, etc.

 

Financial Assistance

Quebec has an Insulin Pump Access Program that offers refunds for the purchase of an insulin pump and required supplies. To be eligible for this program, you must be under the age of 18, covered by Quebec’s public health insurance plan, and meet a set of clinical criteria. Quebec also offers a Family Allowance Program, paid to parents with a dependent child that has diabetes. 

Quebec residents with diabetes may qualify for the Provincial tax credit. A physician must complete a form that attests to the fact that you have a serious disability and time must be spent undergoing essential therapy to sustain a vital function. 

 

Ontario

10% of Ontario’s population lives with diabetes. Ontario offers various programs and supports to assist those living with diabetes and those who are at risk of being diagnosed with diabetes. These programs include diabetes education programs and chronic disease self-management programs.

 

Offerings

The Ontario government is heavily focused on diabetes education, early intervention and effective prevention of complications related to diabetes.

Ontario offers Diabetes Prevention Support Programs for children/youth and adults. The children/youth program, Meant 2 Prevent, is a resource for children and their families that was created by children’s hospitals across Canada. This program offers several valuable resources, including information for families, recipes, and tips on how to cope with many of the issues that children/youth face. 

Prevention support programs for adults 18 years of age and older concentrate on providing information that helps lower the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. Support programs led by registered nurses and dieticians offer tips and tricks on how to manage diabetes risk factors. For those diagnosed with a long-term illness like diabetes, programs that teach self-management, problem-solving, and symptom/health management are also available. These self-management workshops are offered all across Ontario. 

 

Financial Assistance

Having too much glucose in the blood can cause a form of eye damage called diabetic retinopathy. People with diabetes will always be covered for eye exams as long as they have OHIP (Ontario Health Insurance Plan). OHIP covers eye exams as follows:

  • All individuals younger than 20 years of age are covered for one routine eye exam every 12 months and any required follow-up
  • individuals with diabetes between ages 20 and 65 are covered for a complete eye examination by an optometrist or doctor every 12 months, plus any required follow-up
  • individuals age 65 or older are covered for one routine eye examination every 12 months and any required follow-up

For individuals who are on a provincial social assistance program or are 65 years of age or older, the Ontario Drug Benefit Plan covers:

  • most types of insulin
  • oral medications (hypoglycemics
  • blood testing strips

The Assistive Devices Program (ADP) covers insulin supplies for some groups of Ontario residents. These groups include:

  • People age 65 or older who inject insulin
  • People with Type 1 diabetes who have been assessed by a diabetes education program

Ontario has several financial assistance resources, including the Ontario Monitoring for Health Program and financial aid for foot care.

The above listed programs are not an exhaustive list of all the supports offered in both Quebec and Ontario. Be sure to talk to your local government for information on other programs that are available to those with diabetes. 

People living with diabetes in Canada may qualify for the Disability Tax Credit (DTC). The DTC offers tax credits and deductions for people with disabilities, their supporting family members, and their caregivers. A form completed by both yourself and your doctor or medical professional is required. Speak with your doctor or healthcare professional for assistance.

 

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