Free workshop offers diabetic help for self, caretakers

ALPENA – People with diabetes may never know life without their disease. But with the help of a new workshop, they can experience a better quality of life by successfully managing their symptoms.

Diabetes PATH is a self-management course for people living with, or caring for someone with, diabetes. This program does not conflict or replace existing diabetes programs or treatment.

“The Diabetes PATH program reinforces the education provided by healthcare professionals, and enhances the participant’s efforts in achieving the goal of managing their diabetes,” said Kara LaMarre, Program Coordinator with Region 9 Area Agency on Aging, co-sponsor of the class along with Alcona Health Center. “There is a national focus on Diabetes management due to rising health care costs, increasing numbers of people with diabetes and the impact that will all have on our health care industry.”

Many people with diabetes suffer fatigue, pain, stress, hyper/hypoglycemia, high blood pressure or depression. Symptoms often lead to additional health issues that add to the decline in the desired quality of life. The course teaches participants how to manage those symptoms in a variety of ways. Participants learn to focus on making small changes resulting in longer lasting improvements. Those improvements often lead to other positives effects.

“One of the best things about this program is that it motivates participants to take control of their health,” said Lori Bonifas, RN with Alcona Health Center. “Each person identifies what their specific needs are and then works from that point forward.”

Program leaders are required to complete an extensive training, qualifying them to teach this program developed by Stanford University.

LaMarre and Bonifas completed extensive training, qualifying them to teach this program developed by Stanford University. The Diabetes PATH workshop is offered free through Michigan Health Endowment Funding and meets for two and a half hours once a week for six consecutive weeks. Classes will begin Tuesday, June 16 from 9:30 a.m. till noon at the NEMCSA Annex in Alpena.

Class size is limited. To reserve your seat for the class, contact Kara at 358-4616 or 800-219-2273 Ext 216.