“Seminole County alone has more than 57,000 residents struggling to manage diabetes,” explains Scott McIntosh, executive director of Grand Villa. “This is an obvious cause for concern in our community and makes it even more important that residents are offered guidance in dealing with the disease.”
According to the Florida Department of Health, more than 1.5 million Floridians have diabetes; a number that has grown by almost 700,000 in the last 10 years. It is the sixth leading cause of death in the state.
With the prevalence of the disease on the rise, McIntosh points out that managing diabetes, while not an easy feat, is doable. He suggests the following for caregivers and their loved ones who are learning to live with the disease:
• Obtain and follow a diabetes meal plan from your health practitioner. This should involve eating foods with little salt or fat, eating a hearty amount of fiber and keeping meat and poultry portions at less than 3 ounces.
• Get routine care a minimum of two times a year to address any problems.
• Monitor your blood glucose level by testing it at least once a day.
• Exercise for 45-60 minutes a minimum of five days a week. Everything from a walk to an exercise class will benefit you.
• Find ways to manage your stress and utilize mental health resources. Stress often contributes to a higher blood glucose level so finding ways to de-stress, like engaging in exercise or pet therapy, is particularly important for individuals with diabetes.
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Grand Villa of Altamonte Springs (http://www.altamontespringsseniorliving.com) is a 120-apartment independent living, assisted living and memory care senior living community. Offering interior and exterior common areas and resident amenities that include television lounges, a café, country store and private dining room, Grand Villa of Altamonte Springs accepts Medicaid waiver financial assistance.