(Hot Springs, Mont.) – Older adults are at a higher risk for diabetes and pre-diabetes than younger Americans. In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than one in every four Americans over the age of 65 has diabetes, and with age comes greater risks for complications. Diabetes can lead to heart attacks, strokes, blindness, kidney disease, amputations and even death.
However, studies show it is never too late to make changes to improve a person’s health. Motivated adults ready to make lifestyle changes can slow the progression of diabetes and avoid or delay complications.
To help older adults who want to get better control of their diabetes, Mountain-Pacific Quality Health, the Medicare Quality Innovation Network-Quality Improvement Organization (QIN-QIO) for Montana, Clark Fork Valley Hospital and the Montana Geriatric Education Center are partnering together to offer a series of six, free diabetes classes. These classes provide fun, informative and interactive ways to help people with diabetes or pre-diabetes (high blood sugar):
- understand diabetes and how it affects the entire body;
- manage diabetes in a way that makes sense for them and their individual health goals;
- become more informed members of their health care teams, as they continue to work with their doctors, diabetes educators and other health care providers to improve their health.
Those who have attended the classes across Montana are enjoying their experience and learning a lot about diabetes. "Everything I wondered about was answered," said one participant after finishing the six classes. "I learned so much." Another Montana participant said, "They listen to me, explain things clearly. I learned way more than I thought I would."
The classes support, not replace, professional diabetes self-management education. The classes are designed for people with Medicare, but anyone with diabetes or pre-diabetes is welcome to attend.
The series kicks off Monday, May 1, from 10:00 to 11:00 AM, at the Hot Springs Community Center, located at 240 Chisholm Road. Classes will then meet every Monday through June 12, excluding May 29 (Memorial Day). Anyone interested in attending these free diabetes classes can register by calling (406) 826-4669.