Caring for children with type 1 diabetes is challenging and isolating. Focus groups with parents revealed a strong need for respite and trusted individuals who could care for their type 1 child.
We aim to meet parents’ needs for respite by developing a program to educate a family’s babysitter in diabetes management, giving them skills to confidently care for a child for a 4 hour period.
We held focus groups with 30 parents of type 1 children to identify needs. Parents reported two main barriers to leaving their child in another’s care: lack of babysitter knowledge and emotional burden of educating babysitters. A literature review of type 1 training materials informed session development. We launched ‘Type One:101’ after clinical review and pilot testing for message takeout and effectiveness.
Key topics that emerged to incorporate included checking blood glucose, administering insulin with a pen/pump, treating hypoglycaemia and hyperglycaemia, type 1 supplies, carbohydrate counting, physical activity and play. Parents reported that individual, face-to-face workshops were the most appealing delivery format.
During the initial six months we trained 39 babysitters in diabetes management. We assessed babysitters’ increase in confidence across the following diabetes knowledge/skills areas: checking blood glucose, preparing and injecting insulin pens, navigating insulin pumps, measuring ketones, treating hypoglycaemia and hyperglycaemia and understanding diabetes supplies needed. Evaluation using online tools showed 80% of babysitters reported increased confidence compared with baseline.
Type One: 101 educates and builds babysitters’ confidence. The program meets parent's needs by ensuring the education is individually tailored to their child, and because it relieves them of the stress of educating others. Delivering personalised, face to face workshops is resource intensive, but the value to families is considerable: this program has created localised support networks for families of children with type 1 diabetes.
We have no potential conflict of interest to disclose