Living with diabetes blog

Taking diabetes education to the streets

By Nancy Klobassa Davidson, R.N. and Peggy Moreland, R.N. October 22, 2010

Researchers in St. Louis are taking diabetes education to gathering places such as churches and coffee shops, hoping to help people with diabetes to control it.

Nearly 1 in 5 people over the age of 55 in St. Louis have type 2 diabetes. Researchers have found that nearly half of these 75,000 or so people have never taken a class on how to manage diabetes.

Our diabetes education group has been looking at opportunities to help people with diabetes in Rochester, Minn. We have group classes but numbers have been dwindling. There are several barriers that may prevent people from attending classes often held at a clinic or hospital. For some, finances are a barrier due to lack of health insurance or limited coverage; many lack family support and encouragement. The time of day may be a barrier. We live in a multicultural society and language is definitely another barrier.

Many studies show that when you're taught how to manage diabetes, you can reduce your risk of death, stroke, heart failure and other long-term complications.

What would those of you with diabetes (type 1 or 2 or other) like to see offered in your community for diabetes education?

Oct. 22, 2010