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Caithness libraries to provide iPads for people living with type 2 diabetes

By David G Scott

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iPads packed with information and support for people with type 2 diabetes will be available from High Life Highland libraries in Wick and Thurso.

There is a growing prevalence of type 2 diabetes in Scotland, and it is hoped technology, loaded with health information, access to online peer support, online education and helping people access appointments will improve people’s access to the right healthcare.

The project is a partnership with NHS Highland, High Life Highland (HLH), Diabetes Scotland and AbilityNet to provide iPads, mobile internet connections, training and support for people at risk of diabetes and those newly diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.

High Life Highland libraries are loaning out iPads. Picture: DGS
High Life Highland libraries are loaning out iPads. Picture: DGS

AbilityNet, a charity which supports people with disabilities and older people by helping them to use computers and other digital technology, can provide support on how to use the iPads from how to switch it on to providing some refresher training if required.

AbilityNet volunteer Jamie Robson from Watten said: “AbilityNet is proud to be part of this initiative which helps bridge the digital divide and provides access to vital resources that people would otherwise miss out on.”

National director at Diabetes Scotland Angela Mitchell said: “This project could make a huge difference to people living with and at risk of type 2 diabetes in Highland.

“We heard first-hand from people in Highland about what really helped when they were first diagnosed and being digitally connected gives people living with diabetes the opportunity to access online resources, support and even healthcare.

“About 10 per cent of the UK population is still digitally excluded – particularly people on a low income, and rates of type 2 diabetes are 80 per cent higher in our most deprived communities, so we know there is a real need for those communities to be connected to support.”

There are many reasons why people don’t own digital devices although not everyone sees using the internet as helpful or relevant.

The iPad loans can be booked out and collected from your local library, where you will be given a small pack of information on how to use the iPad, how to access training, and what is available on the iPad.

The iPads have sim cards providing internet data therefore you don’t need to have internet in your home to use them.

If you want to find out more or loan an iPad, get in touch with your local library or contact libraries@highlifehighland.com

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