Thursday, December 19, 2013

Diabetes Awareness, Prevention and Support

Are you at risk of Diabetes? Take the following test. A score of 9 or higher means you are at risk for pre-diabetes or diabetes. This does not mean you have diabetes – you’ll need to see your health care provider for a blood test to find out if you have diabetes. Diabetes Risk Test I had a baby weighing more than 9 pounds at birth OR I have had gestational diabetes (diabetes during pregnancy) [Points: 1] I have a sister or brother with diabetes [Points: 1] I have a parent with diabetes [Points: 1] I am overweight (see chart below*) [Points: 5] I am younger than 65 years of age AND get little or no exercise in a typical day [Points: 5] I am between 45 and 64 years of age [Points: 5] I am 65 years of age or older [Points: 9] TOTAL POINTS: *At Risk Weight Chart – find your height in the chart. If you weigh as much or more than the weight listed for your height, you are at risk for type 2 diabetes. Height Weight (in pounds) 4’10’’ 129 4’11” 133 5’ 138 5’1” 143 5’2” 147 5’3” 152 5’4” 157 5’5” 162 5’6” 167 5’7” 172 5’8” 177 5’9” 182 5’10” 188 5’11” 193 6’ 199 6’1” 204 6’2” 210 6’3” 216 6’4” 221 If you are at risk for diabetes, you may be interested to know about a Diabetes Prevention Program. The Diabetes Prevention Program is a proven way to prevent diabetes in people who have pre-diabetes or are at risk for diabetes, by making small lifestyle changes. The Diabetes Prevention Program is an evidence based program for adults and is led by a trained Lifestyle Coach. The program meets in small groups for just one hour every week for 16 weeks, and includes supportive monthly follow up sessions. The trained coach leads the weekly sessions to help you improve your food choices, increase physical activity, and learn coping skills to maintain weight loss and healthy lifestyle changes – that lead to the prevention or delay of a diabetes diagnosis. Individuals who participate in the Diabetes Prevention Program will get: o Lifestyle coaching o Group and individual support o Educational materials o Personalized feedback o Introduction of physical activity o Lifetime friends o Useful information o A healthier you! The program is based on a clinical research trial led by the National Institutes of Health, which showed that people with pre-diabetes can prevent or delay type 2 diabetes by 58% overall, and 71% in people 60 years of age and older. The Diabetes Prevention Workshop is being offered by Niagara County Department of Health, Nursing Division at The Dale Association, 33 Ontario Street, Lockport, NY Thursdays, starting January 23rd from 10:00 – 11:00am. To RSVP, please call 278-1900 and ask to speak to somebody about the Diabetes Prevention Program.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Holiday Stress

For many, the holidays are a time for families and friends to gather and for joyous celebrations. Even though the holidays are enjoyable, they can be demanding. For some, the added stress can lead to emotions that sneak up on you and pull you down when you least expect it. The holidays are not as joyful for some as they are for others. Maintaining good health throughout stressful times is directly linked to a positive mind set. Improving your mood need not be time consuming or expensive – try these simple strategies to distract your attention from the hectic pace of life around you and restore the energy you need. Make sure you are well rested. According to the National Institute on Aging, an estimated 30 percent of middle aged Americans don’t get enough sleep. Factors that can help you get a good night’s sleep are sticking to a regular bedtime, sleeping in a cool and dark room and avoiding stimulants such as caffeine after mid-afternoon. The American College of Sports Medicine recommends at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise each day. Moderate exercise is an activity that leaves you feeling warm, but still able to talk. And don’t forget routine activities like mopping the floor and raking leaves are considered moderate exercise. Music has the ability to alter your mood. If you want to relax, listen to slow, soothing classical music. To energize yourself, pick something that is faster such as jazz or pop. Or consider making your own music by playing a musical instrument. Bringing a little creativity into your life can improve your sense of well being; it could be something as simple as trying a new recipe. By making a difference in the lives of others and becoming active, you generate positive feelings in your own life. Volunteering will fill your heart and let goodness shine in your life. Studies show that people who volunteer as little as two hours per week improve their own health. Worries drift away when you focus on others. Caregiving responsibilities layered on top of keeping up with holiday traditions can take its toll on dementia families, especially the caregiver. The person with dementia may also feel a sense of loss during the holidays. With some planning and adjusted expectations, your celebrations can be filled with joy and magical moments to cherish forever. Adjust your expectations No one, including yourself, should expect you to maintain every holiday tradition or event. • Give yourself permission to do only what you can reasonably manage • Choose holiday activities and traditions that are most important to you • Host a small family dinner instead of a throwing a big holiday party • Consider serving a catered or takeout holiday meal. Many grocery stores and restaurants offer meals to go. • Start a new tradition. Have a potluck dinner where family or friends each bring a dish Involve the person in the festivities - There are many manageable activities the person and you can do together, such as: • Wrap gifts • Bake favorite holiday recipes together. The person can stir batter or decorate cookies. • Set the table. Avoid centerpieces with candles and artificial fruits and berries that could be mistaken for edible snacks. • Talk about events to include in a holiday letter • Prepare simple foods such as appetizers • Read cards you receive together • Look through photo albums or scrapbooks. Reminisce about people in the pictures and past events. • Watch a favorite holiday movie • Sing favorite carols or read biblical passages When the person lives in a care facility - A holiday is still a holiday whether it is celebrated at home or at a care facility. Here are some ways to celebrate together: • Consider joining your loved one in any facility-planned holiday activities • Bring a favorite holiday food to share • Sing holiday songs. Ask if other residents can join in. • Read a favorite holiday story or poem out loud I hope this makes your holidays a little less stressful.