Diabetes Network News | Published April 27, 2009 | Written by Amy Leffard, RN, certified diabetes educator, Mount Nittany Health Diabetes Network

Prioritize Diabetes Care during Difficult Economic Times

As concerns continue to grow about economic conditions, families continue to prioritize and strategize the best solutions for their families. With competing priorities such as food, housing and monthly bills, one’s health may not always rise to the top. For people with diabetes, this strategy can be dangerous.

With planning and prevention tactics, good health can be maintained despite hard economic times. And for those with diabetes, planning and prevention is imperative to ensure diabetes complications are kept to a minimum. If you have diabetes and are feeling the penny pinch, consider these tips to keep you healthy and well:

•If you are struggling to purchase diabetic supplies, ask your healthcare team or look online about patient assistance programs from the makers of the diabetes medications you take. Many programs are available to help people when they cannot afford their medications.
•Resist the temptation to quit checking your blood glucose altogether. Instead, pick the times that will give you the most information to help you manage diabetes the best.
•Take advantage of sale items at the grocery and use local farmers markets to buy less expensive, local produce.
•Walk to the store if you are able – this saves gas and helps your body use glucose for energy.
•Try using barter services for things you need. You may be able to do yard work or housework in exchange for fresh vegetables from your neighbor’s garden.
•Join a support group to network with others to share ideas. You may find solutions that have benefitted others.
•Take time to be grateful. This helps to lower stress.
•Learn as much as you can about diabetes and how to stay well. Call Mount Nittany to schedule a time with a diabetes educator or check out www.diabetes.org.

In addition, Mount Nittany Medical Center offers diabetes self-management classes for those with diabetes and their loved ones to learn about the disease and how to manage and cope with the disease. Taught by a certified diabetes educator, the classes are recognized by the American Diabetes Association. Classes are forming now. Call Amy Leffard at 814.231.7095 to register or for more information.

Amy Leffard, RN, is a certified diabetes educator at Mount Nittany Medical Center.