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November 4, 2022

Rock Creek Senior Living Diabetes Awareness in the Community

Category: Health & Wellness

Author: Holly Belanger, Regional Wellness Coordinator

It was November 1975 when the American Diabetes Association (ADA) first declared November National Diabetes Awareness Month. While diabetes is a common condition among Americans, there are still many Americans that are unaware of what diabetes is, who is at risk, and what chronic conditions can result from the disease. For example, most Americans with diabetes have Type 2, which is highly preventable with diet, exercise, education, and understanding of the disease. As Director of Wellness at Rock Creek Senior Living, it is up to me to spread awareness and provide education for diabetes.

There is a considerable difference between Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes. Type 1 is genetic and shows up early in life; the cause is believed to be an autoimmune response of one’s immune system, which will attack and destroy the insulin-producing beta cells in the pancreas. Once those beta cells are destroyed, they can no longer produce insulin. Type 2 is a result of lifestyle and develops over time. This means that the body still has insulin, but over time, due to situations, the body cannot use insulin effectively, accumulating glucose in your bloodstream. Researchers don’t truly understand why some people become insulin-resistant, and others don’t.

There are many different diabetes symptoms, but some early signs are frequency of urination, increased thirst, blurry vision, and minor cuts that are slow to heal. Some comorbidities that could arise because of diabetes such as hypertension, obesity, and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease.

Unfortunately, Type 1 is not something you can change. With Type 2 however, several lifestyle changes can be made to decrease the risk of diabetes. These include losing weight, staying active, eating a healthy diet, and seeing your physician.

Our economy is one of the biggest obstacles for at-risk Americans. We need to make it easier for people to make better, more affordable choices. It is cheaper and easier to eat fast or pre-made meals for most. They also deal with a lack of education and awareness, and difficulty in accessing healthcare systems and medications.

We offer support, comfort, and kindness in several ways to our residents with diabetes. We encourage healthy eating, exercise, staying positive, being observant, and provide education.

It is important to know the signs and symptoms of diabetes. The Wellness Team of Rock Creek Senior Living is highly trained to recognize, educate, and help with the prevention of diabetes. We are also skilled with assisting residents currently afflicted with the disease.

Rock Creek Senior Living in Ankeny, IA offers senior villas, independent senior apartments, assisted living, and memory care with a variety of services and a range of floor plan options. Amenities include restaurant dining, 24-hour bistro, concierge service, housekeeping, events and entertainment, personal care, transportation services, and more. Centrally located near Mercy One Medical Center with convenient access to major shopping centers and attractions, including Briarwood Golf, The District Shopping Center, Saylorville Lake Marina, Big Creek State Park, and Ankeny Community Theater.

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