Oaklawn-sponsored events to mark diabetes month, other observations

New information about diabetes will be offered during two talks in connection with National Diabetes Month – one of November’s traditional national health-care observances.

Other area events during November will draw attention to hospice care, while health-care providers also focus on various forms of cancer and lung conditions. Nationwide as well as in local communities, the goal is to help people better understand their medical needs, and to learn to prevent existing conditions from worsening.

Timi Perry – a registered nurse who is Oaklawn Hospital’s diabetes education coordinator – will give a free public talk at 6:30 p.m. Nov. 15 during a meeting of the Homer Diabetes Support Group at the Homer United Methodist Church, 101 E. Adams St.

Perry’s talk, “Rethink Your Drink,” will explore why it’s healthier to avoid the “sinister sugars” in such beverages as energy drinks, juices, specialty coffees and soda pops, and to choose healthier options, she said.

Richard S. Goodstein, D.O., will present another free public session during a meeting of the Marshall Diabetes Support Group, focusing on the linkage between diabetes and sleep disorders.

That gathering will be from 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 20, in the conference room of the Marshall District Library at 124 W. Green St., Marshall, said support group coordinator Scott Paschal. The talk should interest diabetics as well as “anyone who supports diabetics during their journey,” Paschal said.

Untreated sleep disorders affect many people, Goodstein said, and may lead to complications for people dealing with other issues, such as diabetes and depression.

“Untreated sleep apnea will – without a doubt – make diabetes more difficult to control,” said Goodstein, a pulmonologist with the Oaklawn Medical Group since 2009.

The support group meets on the third Tuesday of the month from March through November, Paschal said.

Diabetes affects nearly 26 million Americans and an estimated 79 million people are at risk for developing the disease, according to the National Diabetes Education Program. More information about diabetes is available from the American Diabetes Association at www.diabetes.org and from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services at www.yourdiabetesinfo.org.

World Diabetes Day, observed this year on Nov. 14, was launched in 1991 by the International Diabetes Federation and the World Health Organization.

November also is Home Care & Hospice Month, sponsored by the National Association for Home Care & Hospice. It honors those who assist and comfort patients and family members dealing with end-of-life challenges.

Oaklawn Hospice has invited area churches to ring their bells at noon Nov. 1 to honor all who died in the past year while receiving hospice care.

Family members and hospice staff also will gather for a memorial service at 2 p.m. Nov. 10 at Maple Grove Bible Church, 18511 L Drive S., Marshall, said Lisa Morgensai, Oaklawn Hospice’s bereavement coordinator.

Koby Aylor, clinical coordinator for Oaklawn Hospice offers free informational visits to permit families to determine whether hospice care is appropriate for their situations. She also speaks frequently to local organizations and community groups on the subject.

Aylor may be contacted at Oaklawn Hospice’s offices at 122 High St. in Marshall by calling (269) 789-3939 or (877) 832-9019. Information about bereavement services or general grief support is available from Morgensai at the same numbers.

During November, national organizations such as the American Lung Association and the Lung Cancer Alliance also focus attention on chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and lung cancer, respectively. More information about those conditions may be found at www.lung.org and www.lungcanceralliance.org.

During November, attention also is called to the various forms of stomach cancers – the fourth most common cancer types worldwide. Such cancers also are the second leading causes of cancer death in the world, according to the nonprofit organization No Stomach For Cancer Inc. More information is available at www.nostomachforcancer.org.

An extensive list of national health observances during November and at other times of the year may be viewed at healthfinder.gov/nho/nho.asp.

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