Diabetes Information for Everyone

Patients with diabetes are unable to process blood glucose correctly, causing levels to be too high. This lifelong condition is a result of the pancreas not producing enough insulin to help blood glucose properly enter the cells in a diabetic’s body. Glucose is created in the liver and a result of ingesting carbohydrates. In the UK, around 3.2 million people have been diagnosed with diabetes and an estimated 630,000 residents have the illness but have yet to be diagnosed.

 

There are two types of diabetes. Type 1 is most common in childhood and typically develops before age 40. People with Type 1 diabetes do not produce any insulin. With Type 2 diabetes, the pancreas produces insulin but not enough to effectively allow glucose into the system, resulting in a build-up of blood glucose. Usually, Type 2 diabetes affects individuals over the age of 40.

 

When undiagnosed, individuals may still experience symptoms including unexplained weight loss, extreme tiredness, frequent urination, recurring thrush, blurred vision, slow healing wounds, and increased thirst. Early diagnosis and treatment are important to establish good control of the disorder and prevent serious complications.

Diabetic Aides

In addition to medical treatments, people living with diabetes may also need to make some lifestyle changes. A strict routine with injections, exercise, and diet management are often necessary, particularly with Type 1 diabetes. Treating Type 2 diabetes is somewhat different as only about 40% of patients with Type 2 require insulin injections. To assist with these lifestyle changes, a variety of assistive devices are available.

Medical Aides

Often patients with diabetes have other medical conditions that also require medication. In some cases, the complexity and timing of medication can be confusing, leading to missed doses. Medication reminders and medical alert devices such as watches can help someone with diabetes keep track of their medications. In particular, items such as daily pill organizers and seven-day pill organizers provide a great visual reference and ensure doses aren’t missed.

 

In addition, diabetics often suffer from slow-healing wounds and cuts. Products like sorboskin blister plasters and first aid kits can be extremely helpful in wound management.

Physiotherapy Aids

Physical activity is an important part of treating diabetes. Whether workouts are light and occasional or more strenuous and frequent, products that assist with strength, coordination, and agility can be helpful. For example, exercise balls, mats, and weights are all excellent items to incorporate into a workout routine.

Sensory Aids

Over time, people with diabetes offer suffer from eye issues such as glaucoma or cataracts. At worst, these issues can lead to blindness. Fortunately, there are a wide range of products available to help people with impaired vision retain their independence. For example, big button phones, emergency pendants, and standing page magnifiers to help with reading or other close work.

 

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More information

Please note: VAT is removed in the checkout process

In the UK, disabled people do not have to pay VAT when buying certain disability aids and services (This can be claimed by friend or family member purchasing on their behalf). Not everything supplied to disabled people is necessarily zero-rated for VAT. Goods and services on which you do not have to pay VAT are usually known as 'zero-rated' or 'eligible for VAT relief.

Who is eligible for VAT relief?

You must be 'chronically sick or disabled' to qualify for VAT relief. The HMRC comment on this is as follows. A person is 'chronically sick or disabled' if they either:

VAT Relief on our Disability Aids

All products on the Aids for Mobility website are flagged with an option to claim VAT relief during Checkout if it applies to that item. When you add a zero-rated product or service to your Basket, you will be asked to tick a checkbox to confirm that you, or the person for whom you are buying the item, are eligible for VAT Relief.

How VAT relief works

If you are claiming VAT Relief you will be asked to complete an extra few questions during Checkout, where we will ask you to provide brief details of your disability and confirmation that the product is for 'personal or domestic use'. We will keep a record of this declaration along with your order details. You can then buy the product(s) in your Basket at a price that excludes VAT. You will be asked to make this declaration each time you place an order that includes zero-rated products. It is a legal requirement that we record this information for every order, and we apologise for the inconvenience.

More information from HMRC

You can find out more about VAT Relief for disabled people on the HM Revenue and Customs website. If you cannot find the answer to your questions there or would prefer to speak to an adviser, you can call their Helpline on 0845 302 02 03.

The helpline is open from 8.00 am to 5.00 pm, Monday to Friday. (Closed weekends and bank holidays).