American Diabetes Association Launches Senior Signature Series

Alexandria,
September 20, 2012

The American Diabetes Association (Association) is pleased to announce the launch of the Senior Signature Series, which will provide diabetes resources and education for older adults.  In the U.S., there are currently nearly 26 million people living with diabetes and more seniors have diabetes than any other age group – 10.9 million, or 26.9 percent, of all people age 65 and older.

To get a better picture of the challenges facing older adults living with diabetes, the Association established the Older Adult Work Group, comprised of a national team of experts in the field of geriatrics and diabetes. One of the programs resulting from this is the Association’s Senior Signature Series that will be introduced at Life@50+, AARP's national event being held this week. The series will expand education and outreach efforts to seniors across the country.  The goal of this initiative is to educate older adults about how they can reduce their risk of diabetes and its complications. The series will include half-day educational events for individuals age 50 years and older to learn more about diabetes, numerous resources, helpful materials and health screenings.

“Currently, one in four Americans over the age of 60 is living with diabetes and there is a great need for further education among older adults,” said Robin Nwankwo, MPH, RD, CDE, Chair, Adult Strategies Committee, American Diabetes Association. “Through our Senior Signature Series, the American Diabetes Association will provide the tips and resources needed to help seniors address the challenge of preventing diabetes and keeping diabetes treatment from impairing their lifestyle, or slowing them down.” 

Almost all older adults who develop diabetes have type 2 diabetes, and older adults with diabetes often have high blood pressure, high cholesterol, infections that heal slowly and are at risk for heart attacks, stroke and kidney failure. Seniors with diabetes are also more likely to have memory problems and depression. As people who are living with diabetes age, they may need to adjust their diabetes care plans and learn to manage the disease along with other health problems to properly mitigate dangerous complications. 

“Living with diabetes, while it can be effectively managed, can be tough,” said Nwankwo. “Every day is a new hurdle with unique challenges. As you get older, jumping over those hurdles can become a bit more challenging, but it's not impossible. The Senior Signature Series will help people understand the steps they can take to lead healthier lives and Stop Diabetes.”

The Senior Signature Series is supported by Miracle-Ear, a National Strategic Partner of the Association.

The American Diabetes Association is leading the fight to Stop Diabetes and its deadly consequences and fighting for those affected by diabetes. The Association funds research to prevent, cure and manage diabetes; delivers services to hundreds of communities; provides objective and credible information; and gives voice to those denied their rights because of diabetes. Founded in 1940, our mission is to prevent and cure diabetes and to improve the lives of all people affected by diabetes.

For more information please call the American Diabetes Association at 1-800-DIABETES (800-342-2383) or visit www.diabetes.org. Information from both these sources is available in English and Spanish.