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JDRF Tackles Dearth of Support for Adult Type 1s with New “Toolkit”

Published: 2/28/10
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We tend to think of people with type 1 diabetes as kids, but in fact, over half of the 30,000 new cases of type 1 diabetes diagnosed each year are adults. And, because children grow up, most of the people living with type 1 diabetes are actually adults. Despite the large numbers, few resources exist to help newly diagnosed type 1s – or even those type 1s diagnosed as children who are now adults. To address this gap in resources and support, the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) has developed the JDRF Adult Type 1 Toolkit, a "how-to guide" written by type 1 adults for their new peers.

The JDRF recognizes that children and adults have very different experiences upon receiving their diagnosis. When a child is diagnosed with type 1, the parents are there as advocates and the family is frequently inundated with support and resources to help cope. But adults getting a diagnosis can have a very different experience, one that can be confusing and isolating. The JDRF observed that the lack of resources and support for these adults, combined with confusion about the difference between a type 1 and type 2 diabetes, needed to be addressed, and it seized upon the opportunity to also help build a sense of community for adult type 1s.

The JDRF Adult Type 1 Toolkit is available from any of the 85 JDRF chapters and on the internet at www.jdrf.org/adults. The Toolkit offers information on a wide gamut of relevant topics to an adult living with type 1 – ranging from practical information on day-to-day management, telling friends, managing diabetes in the workplace, considering the impact on relationships, health and parenting, and planning for emergencies. Particularly exciting is the network of other adults with type 1 diabetes offered by the Toolkit. As part of the program, the JDRF has assembled a group of “expert listeners” who are part of the JDRF community and can share real life experiences. --CG

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