November plan: Enhance outreach with diabetes education

As diabetes continues to affect an increasing number of Americans, it’s a good idea to pay special attention to this serious disease this November.

According to the American Diabetes Association, nearly 26 million Americans have diabetes and another 79 million have prediabetes — much of it undiagnosed. Forecasts indicate that as many as one-third of all American adults will have diabetes in 2050 if current trends continue.

November is American Diabetes Month and Diabetic Eye Disease Month, and Nov. 14 is World Diabetes Day. Show your community that you are the best choice for your community’s diabetic care needs.

  • Host a diet and nutrition class at a local senior center with a focus on enjoying traditional holiday meals in a healthy way. The American Diabetes Association has some great ideas to help you get started.
  • Distribute Diabetes Zone Flyers to your patients with diabetes and prediabetes. The flyers are a self-assessment tool that alerts the patient about who to call when health problems arise. The flyers are available in English and Spanish.
  • Offer free blood sugar screenings at a local health fair. Hand out your agency’s marketing brochures and any other collateral that educates on diabetes.
  • Partner with a local optometrist and spread the word about the importance of regular eye exams to help make an early diabetes diagnosis. Optometrists can detect whether unexplained blurry vision or changes in prescriptions can be caused by narrowed blood vessels. Jointly host a discussion at a local senior center about this important issue. Be sure to take the doctor and the facility director to a healthy lunch afterward.
  • Visit all the general practitioner offices in your market and educate them about your agency’s efforts in caring for diabetic patients. Drop off disease-specific flyers or brochures for their waiting rooms.
  • Send out personalized notes to your former patients or clients with diabetes or prediabetes. Along with the note, include your updated services brochure and a customized glucose monitoring log booklet that they can use and take along to doctor visits.

Plan for October: Get ready for National Home Care and Hospice Month!

It’s here! National Home Care and Hospice Month is finally here! Well, almost. There are still a few weeks left before the celebrations start, but October is the time to kick your planning into high gear. November’s National Home Care and Hospice Month is a great month to not only celebrate the important work you do, but to draw positive community attention to your agency.

  • Use special National Home Care Month or National Hospice Month greeting cards, magnets and bookmarks to recognize the efforts of your employees, volunteers and referral partners – all the physicians, discharge planners, case managers, social workers and others who play a huge role in making your work possible. Find them at
  • As you educate the community about what home care or hospice care is all about, use informative flip charts to ensure referral sources know when it is appropriate to refer a patient to your services. Guidelines for Home Health Admission are personalized to your agency and list the diagnosis codes for more than 200 common conditions. Find them at: Guidelines for Hospice Flip Charts detail the admission guidelines for many common hospice diagnoses. Find them at
  • Demonstrate to referral sources that you are not only qualified, but have a proven record of assisting patients with a variety of conditions. Patient Outcomes Brochures for Physicians outline the services you offer per disease. They also provide real data about your quality outcomes and how they compare to your competitors. Find them at Find accompanying brochures for patients at
  • Distribute FAQ brochures about Home Care, Hospice or Private Duty care at health fairs and community events in November as you educate about your services. Brochures include answers to commonly asked questions about coverage, payment, services, eligibility and more. Find them at

November is National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month. As our nation’s senior population grows, more Americans will be living with the effects of Alzheimer’s disease. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, about 5.4 million Americans already are living with the disease, making it the most common form of dementia.

  • Present a free class on staying mentally sharp at your area senior centers. The Exercise Your Brain class from the Health Matters Education Series offers an easy-to-follow presentation about ways to keep mentally fit to stave off problems in memory and thinking. Find it at
  • After the class, leave behind puzzle books personalized to your agency to not only keep these potential clients mentally engaged, but to create broader awareness of your agency and educate about the benefits of home health, hospice or private duty care. Find them at
  • Visit with local neurologists, geriatric psychiatrists and geriatricians to tell them about your Alzheimer’s program. Demonstrate your agency’s serious focus on working with Alzheimer’s patients by showing off your Alzheimer’s disease patient education guide. Find it at Leave behind stacks of your Alzheimer’s disease information brochures in their waiting rooms. Find them at

Diabetes is a condition that affects about 25.8 million children and adults in the United States, or about 8.3 percent of the population. Among older adults, the percentage skyrockets to nearly 27 percent. Position yourself as a local health care leader and make a commitment this American Diabetes Month to join the fight against diabetes and promote healthier living for people of all ages.

  • Call on local endocrinologists and discuss your agency’s services for people with diabetes. Leave behind personalized glucose monitoring logs for the physician to distribute to patients. Find them at The logs provide a place to easily record blood glucose and important screenings and will go with patients wherever they go.
  • Diabetes can affect the blood vessels in the eyes, making optometrists and ophthalmologists an important health care provider for these patients. Leave stacks of agency brochures about diabetes in the offices of your local eye doctors. Find them at
  • Include diabetes-focused Zone Flyers in your regular care program for clients with diabetes. The flyers help people assess the severity of their symptoms and determine whether a call to their home health nurse or to 911 is warranted. Be sure to show your referral sources this important tool and explain how it helps reduce re-hospitalizations and makes patients more involved in their own care. Find it at