Diabetes Game Plan
FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Tuesday was "Diabetes Alert Day" which is supported by government and private, health care associations.
Now that President Obama has signed the health care reform bill, major changes in coverage will start to kick in. But one goal in medicine remains a priority; preventing disease.
"What would you like me to do today?"
That question usually gets a detailed answer from Barbara Snider for her friend and right-hand woman, Louise Christy.
Louise is a professional caregiver with "Senior Helpers" and pays regular visits to Barbara in the Southwest Fresno County home Barbara and her husband built over 40-years ago.
At 82-years old, Barbara is thankful for every day she can stay in the home where she and her husband raised 6 children.
"Sometimes you just don't count the days, you just say, 'I'm here today and thank you very much for allowing me to stay'.
As a retired nurse, Barbara is also keenly aware of how to stay as healthy as possible.
"A lot of times you're going to have aches and pains but if you sit around on your 'you-know-what's'"
Barbara is a diabetic but unlike many other seniors with the disease, she doesn't need regular medication. She maintains her blood sugar levels with a healthy diet and a good dose of encouragement to stay active from her caregiver.
It's made such a difference, that Senior Helpers, a nationwide agency with an office in Fresno, has made it a mission to bring disease prevention awareness to its clients.
"Our professional caregivers can provide that extra helping hand to facilitate wellness and keep them healthy and keep them active and keep them wanting to get out of bed every day," said Senior Helpers Director of Operation Irina Parsons.
The American Diabetes Association says seniors are a high risk group for type two diabetes because of advanced age, a sedentary lifestyle, and obesity. But preventing or managing the disease before it gets worse, could be a matter of guidance and support, and in Barbara's case, a straightforward outlook on life.
"If you don't use it you're going to lose it, whether it's your brains or your body."
The "National Diabetes Education Program" has an on-line game plan you can follow to assess your risk for the disease and how to prevent it.
health watch, margot kim
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