Managing diabetes can be a bit of a balancing act. Monitoring your blood glucose levels regularly and ensuring the correct amount of insulin is administered is vital to maintaining optimal health. All of the provinces in Canada offer unique programs that support its residents with diabetes. This article will focus on some of the diabetes programs offered in the Western Canada region. 

Manitoba

10% of Manitoba’s residents live with diabetes. Manitoba offers several programs and supports that aim to assist people with diabetes and those who are at risk of developing diabetes. 

 

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Offerings

Manitoba established an association that focuses on diabetes in its indigenous community. The National Aboriginal Diabetes Association (NADA) houses several links and resources that can be accessed from a centralized site. For example, Just Move It (JMI) is a North American campaign that promotes physical activity for Indigenous People. One of the goals of this campaign is to encourage physical activity as a way of managing preventable diseases like Type 2 diabetes.

The Wellness Institute is another Diabetes Wellness Program in Manitoba. This free program starts with a scheduled meeting with a diabetes educator that assist with developing a specialized action plan. This plan may include:

  • One-on-one diabetes counselling with a certified diabetes educator
  • Small group education sessions and workshops
  • Phone support
  • Exercise classes 

Youville Diabetes Centre offers education sessions, a foot care program, and a young adult program.

 

Financial Assistance

Manitoba offers coverage for insulin pumps and supplies for children under the age of 18 years old. 

 

Saskatchewan

With about 8% of its population living with diabetes, Saskatchewan offers programs and supports to help individuals and their families understand and manage diabetes.

 

Offerings

The Saskatchewan Health Authority has a diabetes program that helps individuals with Type 1 and 2 diabetes, gestational diabetes and pre-diabetes. Available options include individual, group, youth, and pregnancy education programs.

The Provincial Diabetes Plan offered by Saskatchewan is a program that consists of four components:

  • Primary prevention of Type 2 diabetes
  • Optimum care and prevention of diabetes complications
  • Education for care providers
  • Diabetes surveillance/monitoring

 

Financial Assistance

The Saskatchewan Insulin Pump Program offers assistance to those who are aged 25 years or younger who use an insulin pump to manage their Type 1 diabetes.

Alberta

About 8% of Alberta’s population lives with diabetes. Alberta has several programs designed to offer support for those managing this disease.

 

Offerings

Alberta Health Services offers a six-week diabetes series that is comprised of different workshops. These workshops include:

  • Daily management of Type 2 diabetes
  • Healthy eating
  • Physical activity and Type 2 diabetes
  • Foot Care
  • Meal planning
  • Long term management of diabetes

Covenant Health Misericordia Community Hospital has a Diabetes Education Centre clinic that offers education and support for people with diabetes and pre-diabetes. New patients receive an assessment and a treatment plan. Various therapies, including insulin usage, phone or in-person follow-ups, etc. are also discussed.

 

Financial Support

Alberta has an Insulin Pump Therapy Program that supports residents that meet the eligibility criteria and live with Type 1 or Type 3C diabetes.

 

British Columbia

10% of British Columbia’s residents live with diabetes. To support its citizens with diabetes, BC offers innovative programs that provide education and advice.

 

Offerings

BCDiabetes is a care facility that is dedicated to the treatment of diabetes and other endocrine diseases. This facility’s mission is to help British Columbians live a healthier life so that impacts on their condition and health can be minimized. The services that BCDiabetes offer include:

  • Dedicated diabetes case managers
  • Lifestyle counselling
  • Dietician services 
  • Specialist pharmacy services

HealthLink BC offers several valuable resources to those living with diabetes. HealthLink BC has information on topics of importance to those with diabetes, including:

  • Taking care of your feet
  • Pre-diabetes
  • Choosing an insulin pump
  • Eating out when you have diabetes

BC Children’s Hospital has an endocrinology and diabetes unit that provides education and support for children and their families. 

 

Financial Assistance

PharmaCare in BC covers various diabetes supplies for those who qualify. These supplies include:

  • Blood glucose strips
  • Needles and syringes
  • Insulin 
  • Other diabetes supplies

The above list of programs and offerings is not exhaustive. Be sure to check with your local government about any programs that may be of benefit to you.

People living with diabetes in Canada may also 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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