Char-Koosta News

The Official Publication of the Flathead Nation online

Healthy Living with Diabetes: Free Diabetes Classes for Seniors in Polson

By Rene Kittle, Extension Agent for MSU Flathead Reservation Extension

POLSON – Older adults are at a higher risk for diabetes and pre-diabetes than younger Americans. In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than one in every four Americans over the age of 65 has diabetes, and with age comes greater risks for complications. Diabetes can lead to heart attack, stroke, blindness, kidney disease, amputations and even death.

However, studies show it is never too late to make changes to improve a person’s health. Motivated adults ready to make lifestyle changes can slow the progression of diabetes and avoid or delay complications.

To help older adults who want to get better control of their diabetes, Mountain-Pacific Quality Health, the Medicare Quality Innovation Network-Quality Improvement Organization (QIN-QIO) for Montana, the MSU Flathead Reservation Extension Office and the Montana Geriatric Education Center are partnering together to offer a series of six, free diabetes classes. These classes provide fun, informative and interactive ways to help people with diabetes or pre-diabetes (high blood sugar)
• understand diabetes and how it affects the entire body;
• manage diabetes in a way that makes sense for them and their individual health goals;
• become more informed members of their health care teams, as they continue to work with their doctors, diabetes educators and other health care providers to improve their health.

Those who have attended the classes across Montana are enjoying their experience and learning a lot about their health. “Everything I wondered about was answered,” said one participant after finishing the six classes. “I learned so much.” Another Montana participant said, “They listen to me, explain things clearly. I learned way more than I thought I would.”

The series is designed for people with Medicare, but anyone with diabetes or pre-diabetes is welcome. Classes kick off Wednesday, December 6, from 1:30 to 3:30 PM, at the MSU Flathead Reservation Extension Office at 701 1st St. East in Polson. Classes then meet every Wednesday through January 10. Anyone interested can register for classes by calling Rene Kittle at the MSU Flathead Reservation Extension Office at (406) 675-2700 ext. 7378.

About Mountain-Pacific Quality Health
Mountain-Pacific holds federal and state contracts that oversee the quality of care for Medicaid and Medicare members. Mountain-Pacific works within local communities in Montana, Wyoming, Alaska, Hawaii and the U.S. Pacific Territories to help improve the delivery of health care and the systems that provide it with the goal to increase access to high quality health care that is affordable, safe and of value to patients.

Developed by Mountain-Pacific Quality Health, the Medicare Quality Innovation Network-Quality Improvement Organization (QIN-QIO) for Montana, Wyoming, Alaska, Hawaii and the U.S. Pacific Territories of Guam and American Samoa and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, under contract with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Contents presented do not necessarily reflect CMS policy.

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