New Dodge Diabetes section opens this fall

Prevention is a critical piece of the puzzle of health and wellness.

VNA Community Healthcare & Hospice, a local nonprofit devoted to helping its home healthcare patients and all members of the 35 communities it serves to achieve their best quality of life, believes in the importance of prevention and healthcare education.

That is why it will once again host its yearlong program, Dodge Diabetes, beginning Tuesday, Sept. 15.

One in three American adults has prediabetes. Those with prediabetes are at high risk for developing Type 2 diabetes, as many with prediabetes do within five years if they do not lose weight or increase their physical activity level. Diabetes can lead to blindness, kidney failure, heart disease, stroke and loss of toes, feet or legs.

People are most likely to have prediabetes and Type 2 diabetes if they are 45 years of age or older, are overweight, have a family history of Type 2 diabetes, are physically active fewer than three times per week or have been diagnosed with gestational diabetes during pregnancy or gave birth to a baby weighing more than nine pounds.

The best, controllable way to prevent diabetes is to lose weight through exercise and smart eating habits. Dodge Diabetes focuses on education in these areas to help individuals cut their risk of developing diabetes in half. Participants will learn how to make healthy food choices, add physical activity into their day, cope with stress, handle obstacles and overcome barriers to stay on track or get back on track when needed, track progress, stay motivated and set goals.

The program is based on the Center for Disease Control & Prevention’s Prevent T2, a successful, evidence-based lifestyle change program. Prevent T2 is part of the National Diabetes Prevention Program.

A total of 26 classes will be held throughout the next year on Tuesdays from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. Classes will be held virtually via Zoom with a potential for in-person meetings in the Agency’s Guilford Wellness Center once it is deemed safe to do so. For the first four months, the class meets every week, then every other week, and then once a month during the last half of the year.

“Diabetes is a potentially devastating chronic illness, but one that is preventable with the right tools and support,” said Tracy Blanford, RN, Health Promotion Supervisor at VNA Community Healthcare & Hospice. “We are pleased to be able to provide this life-changing program to members of the community we serve. Our goal is to help individuals facing pre-diabetes to incorporate healthy changes into their lives and to maintain these changes to see positive results.”

This program is supported by grant funding from the Guilford Health Department Preventative Health & Health Services Block Grant, and the CT Department of Public Health.

The cost is $85 for the full 12-month program. For more information, call the VNACHCH Helpline at 866.474.5230. To register for the class, visit our calendar.