November is a great month with many observances about diabetes. It is a time to celebrate the accomplishments of people with diabetes and diabetes educators, and a time to bring awareness about diabetes to those around us, to people of the U.S., and to people around the world!
We started the month with National Diabetes Education Week November 5 through 11. I hope you had an opportunity to bring awareness to the specialty of diabetes education, and how we can help people with diabetes in education, management, and support. AADE has provided us with highlights from the week.
As we wrap up the week, we can get ready for “World Diabetes Day” on Tuesday, November 14. At a minimum, I will be wearing my lapel pin with the big blue circle that brings awareness to the day. The World Diabetes Day website from the International Diabetes Federation can open our eyes to how diabetes affects people from different countries and cultures around the world.
Today, November 13, my colleague Jason and I will be starting our day with an evidence-based practice presentation about diabetes for our Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation Department. We are presenting common myths about diabetes (there are many!) and up-to-date information about treatment recommendations for a person with type 1 or with type 2 diabetes. I am especially excited to be including the New Tip Sheet for Healthcare Professionals from AADE on “Speaking the Language of Diabetes.” If you haven’t looked at this yet, please check it out and share it with your friends, co-workers, and people with diabetes.
I finish my day with a community presentation on “Exercise with Type 2 Diabetes.” I will be including the general recommendations for cardiovascular, strengthening, and balance exercises along with specific exercises a person can do in their own home. I will also be providing the language tip sheet for those in the audience. I hope this will help more people see themselves and others as individuals with diabetes rather than labeling themselves as a disease (“a diabetic”).
The whole month of November is Diabetes Month in the U.S. and Canada. There is a great deal of information available from various organizations and agencies about diabetes, how to have a healthy life with diabetes, and ideas of how to spread the word. Check out the toolkit from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, see how you are the “center of your diabetes care team,” and find information about spreading the word from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.
This month provides all of us, as diabetes educators and people with diabetes, to get the word out about diabetes, care of diabetes, myths and truths, and person-centered language. I hope you have something planned and would love it if you shared with the rest of us.
About the Author
Karen Kemmis is a physical therapist and certified diabetes educator, and also holds certifications in Pilates for rehabilitation and exercise for aging adults. She is based out of SUNY Upstate Medical University in Syracuse, NY and splits her time between a Joslin Diabetes Center affiliate, an outpatient rehabilitation department, and a PT program where she is an adjunct professor.
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