Online course on Diabetes Education benefits older adults | Universidad Zamorano
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19 October, 2020
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19 October, 2020

Online course on Diabetes Education benefits older adults

The program seeks to achieve changes in diabetes management and control, lifestyle and nutrition in older adults through education.

In response to the quarantine measures implemented due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Zamorano, with support of the Institute of Technology for Health Care (ITHC is its English abbreviation), has been training older adults since September using an online course in Diabetes Education. People who are diagnosed with diabetes can benefit from knowledge about, understanding and learning how to care for the disease.

The workshops cover general information on diabetes, glycemic control and nutrition. Participants divided into four groups to receive more personalized classes and focused attention. Throughout the training, participants have shown an attitude of willing participation and have had a positive response to the themes taught.

Before beginning the workshops, an initial survey was circulated to learn the profile of participants as well as their knowledge of the disease. The same  survey will be circulated again at the end of the course, to statistically evaluate the impact on each group.

In their responses, 57% of the participants mentioned that it has been difficult to maintain control of their medical appointments during the pandemic. Data indicates that 48% are overweight, 30% are obese and 22% are normal-weight. 57% informed us that they still eat fast food meals as well as packaged foods frequently as part of their nutritional diet.

In light of the results, it became evident that we have to work on portion control and education for a healthy diet, as 52% of participants did not have a handle on reasonable portion sizes.  The same percentage of participants shared that the main method of cooking they use is frying and 61% uses bouillon cubes to prepare their food. We will have to promote more healthy methods of cooking, using natural ingredients to benefit health.

To contribute in a practical way to the theme of making healthier food choices, each participant was given a pamphlet with assignment exercises. Participants have had a positive response to the training, which is important for habit formation. At the end of the course, a document will be published sharing experiences on the program and the goals achieved with older adults.

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