Living with diabetes can be challenging, confusing and emotionally exhausting, leading to a range of possible complications, from preventable hospitalizations to blindness, amputation and more.
For several years, Tanner Health System’s Get Healthy, Live Well has offered a program tailored to help people understand diabetes and how best to control it, helping them avoid unnecessary complications from the condition. And now, Get Healthy, Live Well’s Living Well With Diabetes program has been recognized as an accredited diabetes education program by the American Association of Diabetes Educators (AADE).
Get Healthy, Live Well’s Living Well With Diabetes program is available to residents in Carroll, Haralson and Heard counties. Living Well With Diabetes, a comprehensive program taught by diabetes educators who have extensive training, helps participants learn how to manage their condition. Hundreds of west Georgia residents have learned the skills to take control of their diabetes through the program.
“Being diagnosed with diabetes can be overwhelming and stressful,” said Jamie Brandenburg, LPN, diabetes educator for Tanner’s Get Healthy, Live Well. “The Living Well With Diabetes program helps participants learn ways to manage symptoms with the support of trained coaches and other workshop attendees facing similar health concerns.”
Living Well With Diabetes was developed at Stanford University to teach participants about what diabetes means for their bodies. Group support and camaraderie are important parts of the program. The classes explore various treatment options, while also discussing how to live a healthy and active lifestyle.
Participants also learn tips to improve their fitness, techniques to deal with symptoms, appropriate use of medications and how to work more effectively with healthcare providers.
And the results have been impressive: A study found that people who participated in the Living Well With Diabetes program reduced their rates of hyperglycemia and hypoglycemia.
Other results include enhanced physical fitness and weight loss. For people with type 2 diabetes, losing just 10 percent of their body weight can cut blood sugar levels by half. Participants also had significant improvements in healthy eating, reading food labels, depression, communicating with physicians and patient activation.
AADE is a National Accredited Organization (NAO), certified by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). This accreditation indicates that Get Healthy, Live Well offers comprehensive, effective, high quality education for diabetes patients. Diabetes education is a collaborative process that empowers people who have or who are at risk for diabetes to modify their behavior and successfully self-manage the disease and its related conditions.
AADE’s accreditation ensures that an accredited program meets the National Standards for Diabetes Self-Management Education and Support, according to Leslie Kolb, RN, BSN, MBA, accreditation director for the Diabetes Education Accreditation Program.
“Programs that meet these criteria are considered high quality and have been shown to improve the health status of the individuals who embrace the education and help to modify sometimes unhealthy behaviors, or simply provide the education that the person with diabetes has not previously received,” Kolb said. “Living Well With Diabetes is exactly the type of program we envisioned when we set up our accreditation in 2009.”
The Living Well With Diabetes program is available to anyone who has received a clinical diagnosis of diabetes. New sessions begin monthly. Class size is limited, so register early.
Visit GetHealthyLiveWell.org to register online for an upcoming class or call 770.214.CARE.