ACCORDING to the Malaysian Diabetes Educators Society’s Diabetes Education Manual 2020, seven million Malaysian adults are expected to develop diabetes by 2025, an alarming trend to see diabetes prevalence rise to 31.3 per cent among adults aged 18 and up.
This number also indicates that there will be an increase in the number of diabetes caregivers, who are typically loved ones of the patients.
This World Health Day, the For Your Sweetheart Campaign collaborated with Persatuan Diabetes Malaysia (PDM) to produce a video called ‘Diabetes Serious Meh’ to highlight caregivers and the importance of self-care.
The video chronicles the journeys of several diabetic patients and the challenges that their caregivers faced along the way.
According to research, one out of every five adults in the country has diabetes, a long-term chronic illness that necessitates long-term caregiving. Therefore, with the rise in diabetes patients, the burden on caregivers should not be overlooked.
Dr Tan Ming Yeong, Diabetes Nurse Specialist who is also a certified diabetes educator, explained: “Diabetes Mellitus is a life-long condition. Living with diabetes and its daily management often involves multiple physical and psychological challenges that can affect many aspects of the life of people with diabetes and their family and
Many caregivers have reported experiencing emotional stress, physical exhaustion, and even health problems because of a lack of time and energy for self-care, which leads to decreased exercise and unhealthy eating habits.
Dr Tan added: “The demands of caregiving can be exhausting and overwhelming. The well-being of caregivers is important because the person with diabetes depends on them for care and support.
“Helping caregivers manage stress, regain their sense of balance, joy, and hope in life will impact the quality of life of people with diabetes and clinical outcomes. The best thing caregivers can do for the person they are caring is to ensure their own physical and psychological wellbeing.”
For Your Sweetheart Campaign invites all Malaysians, particularly caregivers, to keep themselves and their loved ones healthy with a free Diabetes HbA1c Screening at participating clinics nationwide.
This noble initiative of creating public awareness of the link between diabetes and heart disease and the Free Diabetes Screening effort is supported by Boehringer Ingelheim in partnership with Malaysian Endocrine and Metabolic Society (MEMS), Malaysian Diabetes Educators Society (MDES) and Persatuan Diabetes Malaysia (PDM).