According to the North Carolina Medical Journal, an estimated 21.4% of adults aged 65 years or older live with diabetes. Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes. Per the CDC’s National Diabetes Statistics Report-2020, North Carolina is ranked 7th in the nation for diabetes related deaths. Diabetes is a complex condition requiring the person living with it to make ongoing decisions throughout the day to maintain their blood sugar levels to control short-term and long-term complications from the disease.
Diabetes Self-Management Education and Support (DSMES), an evidence-based service, educates and supports people living with diabetes in how to effectively self-manage and cope with their condition. Centralina Area Agency on Aging is nationally accredited and a Medicare provider of this service. A Part B benefit for those diagnosed with diabetes, Centralina’s DSMES service is also covered by most private health insurances.
Successfully held in community settings, Centralina changed course due to COVID restrictions and moved provision of DSMES to a HIPPA compliant platform. Partnering with Rosedale Assistance and Opportunities (RAO) Community Health, in support of RAO’s CDC REACH grant, Centralina’s DSMES service became an easily accessible, virtual community, health care option for persons diagnosed with diabetes. Participants receive individualized assessment and goal planning along with group education and support. They walk away from the service with a better knowledge of diabetes along with skills and tools needed to meet challenges to develop self-care behaviors that help them manage their condition on a long-term basis.
Participants who have taken part in Centralina’s DSMES service have these comments:
“I learned so much. I was provided a wealth of information on how to manage my diabetes!”
“I now know how to read food labels and can keep track of the amount of carbohydrates in my food.”
“I [already] know how to manage my sickle cell disease, now I know how to manage my diabetes.”