“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Ben Franklin
As a senior focused insurance agent who has met with hundreds of clients over the years. It does not surprise me to hear that diabetes is a very common ailment. In fact, most studies indicate that at least 25% of Americans over the age of 65 have the disease. But let me share something with you. Even more people tell me that they have been told by their doctor that they are “pre-diabetic.” For some, their doctors have prescribed “preventative” doses of medications such as Metformin to keep this pre-diagnosis in check. What’s the big deal? Please note! If a doctor prescribes you diabetes medication, you are being treated for diabetes.
This means that it is a part of your medical record. And could affect the options and the cost of Medicare supplemental insurance. Besides, if you simply take medication, but don’t change the underlying causes of the issue, the problem will become worse. So if your A1C levels are teetering, and heading down the path to diabetes. Besides medication, what can you do?
Most folks understand that lifestyle changes are key in senior diabetes prevention and management. We also know that making these changes alone can be difficult! Education in diabetes prevention can be very helpful.
Here are 4 Northern Michigan Programs that can Help Prevent Diabetes in Seniors
- District Health Department #10 “This Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP) is an evidence based lifestyle change program for preventing type 2 diabetes in seniors as well as people 18 years and older. The goal of DPP is to help participants make lifestyle changes around weight loss, reducing fat intake, and increasing physical activity. The DPP is led by trained lifestyle coaches, who motivate encourage, and build on group dynamics to reach successful targeted outcomes for the participants.”
- Grand Traverse YMCA “This lifestyle change program is designed to help prevent Type 2 diabetes. Participants will track their nutrition and exercise and develop lifestyle changes over the course of a year. For the first 16 weeks, the class will meet once a week for an hour, then monthly for the rest of the year. Non-members participating in the program will receive a YMCA membership for the duration of the program.”
- Kalkaska Memorial Health Center “This class will provide you with the tools to help manage pre-diabetes, with information focusing on nutrition, weight loss, exercise, and medications (if prescribed).”
- Munson Medical Center “People who attend diabetes education classes are more successful in managing their diabetes. You will learn evidence-based information about nutrition, glucose monitoring, medications, and exercise to help you make lifestyle changes that will lead to improved health.”
My mom was diagnosed with diabetes about ten years ago.
Now at age 83, she lives a very happy and healthy life. One of the reasons this is possible is because she has educated herself on how her lifestyle choices can help manage the disease. She watches what she eats, is very active, and monitors her blood levels frequently. She often tells me that she wishes she would have made these changes before she had the actual diagnosis and began medication. Hindsight is always 20/20. But if you are reading this article, you still have options. Before taking medication, and having an official diagnosis, there are steps you can take. After all, as the famous physician Dean Ornish tells us, “It takes much more to reverse a disease than it does to prevent it!”
If you would like further information on diabetes in seniors, planning for or reevaluating your retirement, or simply want to chat, give us a call at our local Traverse City office at 231-421-7391.