There are many resources now available to assist patients to live manage their diabetes and live healthier lives.
Home Needle Disposal
More and more people are experiencing health problems that require the use of medical “sharps” in the home. Medical sharps include needles, syringes, and lancets. The most common use is among persons with diabetes who often use lancets, insulin syringes, or both. These contaminated needles can pose a danger for others in the household, but can also be hazardous to waste haulers. Each state has its own rules and regulations for disposing of medical waste. Do you know the proper way to dispose of used needles in Kentucky?
In Kentucky, medical waste can be disposed of with household garbage in most landfills. However, to protect workers from accidental needle sticks and possible exposure to blood-borne diseases, the Kentucky Division of Waste Management recommends the following guidelines for the safe disposal of medical sharps in a home setting:
- A commercially made sharps container available for purchase at pharmacies and retail stores
- A hard, plastic container such as an empty laundry detergent bottle may also be used
- Contact your local hauler to let them know when you will be setting out medical waste
- Be sure to label the container as “SHARPS” and set it on top of bagged garbage
- Set the sharps container out the morning of scheduled pickup or place inside a garbage can with a lid to prevent tampering or accidental exposure.
Disposing of sharps properly greatly reduces the risk of accidental exposure to diseases, germs, and injury. Never throw sharps in trash without a sharps container and do not flush them down the toilet. For more information, contact your local health department or the Kentucky Division of Waste Management. You can also read this Kentucky Sharps Disposal Fact Sheet.
Islets of Hope
The following website will provide links to numerous resources from diabetes supplies, products, education and training resources, and general diabetes information: Islets of Hope
Patient Assistance Information for Insulin
Kentuckians can get discount prices on prescription drugs through KentuckyRxCard, a program launched June 2009. Pharmaceutical manufacturers and participating pharmacies will offer discounts averaging about 30 percent compared with retail prices, KentuckyRxCard said in a statement. Kentucky residents can download a free discount card at KentuckyRXCard or, in Louisville, visit any Metro Public Health & Wellness location, Neighborhood Place, Park DuValle Community Health Center or Greater Louisville Inc. to receive a card.
The program is administered by United Networks of America, a company that assembles networks of health-care-related companies to provide discounted services.
Kentucky Vision Project
The Kentucky Vision Project, which is funded solely by private donations, offers free eye exams and glasses to low-income families who qualify. Volunteer optometrists receive no compensation for their services or the glasses. Approved applicants are assigned to participating doctors in the county where they live. If there is no participating doctor in their county, they are requested to list two alternative counties where they can travel.
Participating doctors donate examinations to determine eye health as well as the need for glasses. If the doctor determines glasses are required, a $25 donation is requested for each family member receiving glasses. The voluntary donation helps offset the cost of the lenses, mailing costs and helps to keep the project ongoing.