November is National Diabetes Month, and a time where communities across the United States work to spread awareness on Diabetes management and prevention. At Total Senior Care, this awareness is implemented year-round. Michael Williams, Clinical Dietitian for Olean General Hospital and Dietary Coordinator at Total Senior Care, sheds light on how diabetes is managed and prevented through the programs provided at Total Senior Care (TSC).
“The meals at Total Senior Care are based on standards and recommendations detailed in the 2015 Dietary Guideline for Americans (DGA) report, a joint venture of the USDA (Department of Agriculture) and US Department of Health and Human Services,” stated Williams, when asked how the diet provided at Total Senior Care supports diabetes prevention. “We develop the standard TSC menu with the philosophy that “there is no such thing as a diabetic diet.” Instead, we focus our menu on healthful eating patterns that supports healthful aging for all individuals (those with or without chronic disease including diabetes). Of course, we always modify and individualize menus in order to meet our participants wants (desires) and medical needs,” continued Williams.
When it comes to managing diabetes, Williams discussed how participants receive “individualized nutrition care” that usually consists of nutrition counseling and education. “However, individuals with chronic disease or identified needs, receive a type of counseling called “Medical Nutrition Therapy” or MNT for Short. MNT is an evidenced-based medical approach for the treatment of chronic disease. It consists of nutrition diagnosis, therapy and counseling services to assist with disease management,” Williams explained.
The best way to prevent or manage diabetes, according to Williams, is to follow a healthful lifestyle. This would mean engaging in regular physical activity, eating a healthy diet, and maintaining a healthy weight (body mass index of less than 25). “Some of us, however, may still be at risk for diabetes due to non-modifiable factors: family history, age, race/ethnic background and history of gestational diabetes. Adherence to a healthful lifestyle is still recommended for these individuals and those already with diabetes,” expressed Williams.
“The good news here is that you are not all alone. There are many qualified healthcare workers (doctors, nurses, dietitians, pharmacists, social workers) that can help with the management or prevention of diabetes. The best practice for anyone with diabetes, at risk of diabetes or caring for someone with diabetes is to engage with health care providers to help guide you through the “ins” and “outs” of diabetes self-care,” concluded Williams.
You can learn more about the beneficial programs provided at Total Senior Care by visiting their website www.totalseniorcare.org or by calling (716) 379-8474 and scheduling a free tour!