Living Healthfully with Diabetes

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Patrons Are Learning How – At the Library!
Author: 
By Rebecca Walden

If you are living with diabetes, you already know that it is a complicated disease. Instead of going it alone, venture into a library near you to tap into the wealth of multi-media resources and programs available to help you learn to live healthfully, day in and day out.

Test Your Diabetes I.Q.

The amount of self-care information a newly-diagnosed diabetic receives can feel overwhelming. A visit to the library can do much to help de-mystify how you can be your own advocate and live effectively with diabetes.

At the Trotwood Branch of the Dayton Metro Library, community patrons kicked off the New Year with a “Defining Diabetes” Program, led by a certified diabetes instructor from Good Samaritan Hospital.

“The speaker started with [a description of] diabetes, and [also] discussed exercise, food portion control and living with diabetes,” says branch manager Luellen Wilson. “The attendees asked many questions; their feedback about the event was very positive. Learning about an illness that might affect you, family or friends is very empowering to patrons.”

 

Informally Expand Your Care Team

Many libraries, including the Louisville Free Public Library, regularly host wellness-focused programs, and they typically enlist healthcare leaders within the community to deliver presentations.

Louisville’s Bon Air Branch recently offered a four-part series via the city’s Department of Health and Wellness. Program topics included Diabetes Types, High & Low Blood Sugar, Sick Days, Diet & Exercise, Medications & Monitoring, Preventing Complications, and Foot & Skin Care. Participants also received a well-stocked resource binder.

Zero copay access to informed healthcare professionals and an excuse to get out of the house and socialize with others facing similar health challenges? What’s not to like?

Library Assistant Patricia Langley notes the community impact of such classes. “The Library is committed to lifelong education for everyone and that includes educating about health-related issues. By hosting an event like this we provide timely information to a sector of our community that may not always have access to public health classes and similar Metro services. An informed community is an empowered community when it comes to wellness decision-making.”

Realistic Tips on Eating

When it comes to eating habits, no one wants to be lectured. Realistic information, however, is useful for us all, especially those who must factor diabetes into the dietary mix.

In addition to diabetes programs that focus on holistic disease management, many libraries, including Clark Public Library in Clark, N.J., also provide free access to registered dieticians, who can provide helpful, diabetes-focused tips on healthful eating.

At a recent diabetes program hosted by the library, local registered dietician Lauren Purdy provided attendees with detailed information and take-home guidelines.

“We received a lot of positive feedback the day of the program from those who attended, and we’ve already had Lauren back for a ‘New Year, New You’ nutrition program, which drew an even larger crowd,” says reference librarian Erin Coffey. “We hope to have a nutrition/heath-related program every month or so with Lauren.”

Indeed, there are many programs available. But don’t just wait for a program of interest to appear on the library’s events calendar. Drive … ride … better yet – walk – to the library nearest you today, and infuse new energy into your diabetes self-care regimen.

 

 

Sources List

Books

Atlas of Diabetes by Jay S. Skyler

Cheating Destiny: Living with Diabetes, America's Biggest Epidemic by James S. Hirsch

An Invitation to Health: Choosing to Change by Dianne R. Hales

The Art and Science of Diabetes Self-Management Education Desk Reference by Carole Mensing, et al.

DVD/Video

Tackling Diabetes with Dr. Neal Barnard

If you are living with diabetes, you already know that it is a complicated disease. Instead of going it alone, venture into a library near you to tap into the wealth of multi-media resources and programs available to help you learn to live healthfully, day in and day out.

 

 

Photo credit: She was power walking by Zervas

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