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New AAA7 episode features diabetes self management program

The latest episode of Area Agency on Aging District 7’s “Wellness Wednesdays” recorded Jan. 20, featured Hannah Hollingshead, of the AAA7’s Wellness Department and facilitator of wellness programs through the Agency, discussed in more detail the Diabetes Self-Management Program that is offered through the Agency.

Diabetes is one of the most common and complex chronic conditions in individuals 60 and older. When not managed effectively, diabetes can cause a wide range of complications such as heart disease, kidney disease, eye damage, and nerve damage just to name a few.

Most individuals diagnosed with diabetes initially have education about the treatments they will be using such as the medications, the diet they need to follow, and the testing they will need to do to check their blood sugar. While all of that education is very important, it can also be overwhelming. Continuing to learn about diabetes and how to best manage it can lead to fewer complications for most individuals.

The content of the Diabetes Self-Management Program is based on feedback from diabetes educators, dietitians, and people living with diabetes. It meets the standards of the American Diabetes Association. Even individuals who have been told they have pre-diabetes will learn skills to lower their risk of developing diabetes and other complications. Pre-diabetes means your blood sugar levels are higher than normal but not high enough to be diagnosed with diabetes.

Through evaluations of the program, it has been shown that individuals who take the program have fewer health complications, lower glucose levels, and overall improved health and well-being.

Participants in the Diabetes Self-Management Program learn several self-management tools such as: making action plans to set goals; making decisions and evaluating treatments; understanding our emotions; problem solving methods; and how to effectively communicate; in addition to diabetic-specific topics including: healthy eating for diabetes; monitoring glucose levels; avoiding complications of diabetes; and how exercise affects blood glucose levels.

Participants receive helpful materials to support their learning such as a “Living a Healthy Life with Chronic Conditions” book, tip book, exercise CD, and a diabetic eating plate.

Classes are available for those age 60 and over who live in one of the ten core counties located in the AAA7’s district which includes Adams, Brown, Gallia, Highland, Jackson, Lawrence, Pike, Ross, Scioto and Vinton. There is no cost associated with participating. Currently through the telephone, classes meet once a week for one hour for six total weeks. The next Diabetes Self-Management Program on the telephone is scheduled to begin on April 6th. Those who are interested are encouraged to call to register at 1-800-582-7277 or e-mail info@aaa7.org.

If you missed the episode on Jan. 20, you can see a recorded version on the AAA7’s Facebook page or on the AAA7’s website at www.aaa7.org.