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.