Monday, February 29, 2016

UPCAP offers free Health And Wellness Programs Across the UP

Do you have a fear of falling? Do you struggle with the daily challenges of living with diabetes or other health problem?  Or, do you care for a loved one living at home with memory problems?  If you answered yes to any of one of these questions, then UPCAP may have a program for you.  For the last 8 years, UPCAP and many community partners have been implementing and expanding a variety of nationally recognized evidence based programs. UPCAP, the UP Area Agency on Aging, targets those aged 60 and older-however, these programs are open to all adults.   These programs are available in most areas of the UP, are held in community settings such as Senior Centers, Churches, Libraries.  Small groups meet weekly, usually for 6-8 weeks, and people learn from trained facilitators, and also learn from other group members, ways to manage their concerns. UPCAP AND UPDON worked together to bring the first program, Personal Action Toward Health (PATH) to the UP.  The PATH program, as it's called in Michigan, is Stanford University's Chronic Disease Self-Management program. The program helps people to better manage their condition by discussing tools that can make a difference and goal setting, which empowers people to do what they know they should be doing.  UPCAP offers 2 other similar programs from Stanford, exclusively for those living with diabetes and for those living with chronic pain.  People who take this class often say they feel like they are in more control of their health, rather than their health controlling them.

Another program offered by UPCAP is called, A Matter of Balance, Managing Concerns About Falls.  This 8 session program helps to reduce people's fear of falling, and thus, stay active and independent.  Group discussions help people set goals for physical activity, manage behaviors and disruptive thoughts, and learn exercises to help improve balance, strength, and flexibility.  Many people report that after taking the class, they feel more confident that they can reduce their risk of falling.

Creating Confident Caregivers is for families caring for someone living at
home with memory loss.  The program provides caregivers with information, skills, and attitudes to manage stress and increase their effectiveness as a caregiver.  Often, they feel more able to take control and manage situations that may arise in the day to day care of someone with memory loss.

Two other programs are available in limited areas, Healthy Eating for
Successful Living in Older Adults, and Walk With Ease.

To register for upcoming programs or to be placed on a waiting list, contact


Monday, February 22, 2016

Ways to keep your heart healthy

Keeping your Heart Healthy with Food

Currently heart disease is the leading cause of death for people with diabetes. Taking steps to keep your heart healthy are important if you want to avoid having a heart attack or stroke. Here are some general eating tips that can help you take care of your heart:
1.      Watch those portion sizes, especially if you are overweight. Think about eating a little bit less at each meal.
2.      Make an effort to have less salt/sodium in your diet (eat fewer processed foods like canned soups, packaged foods, frozen dinner; use other types of herbs and spices on your food, choose low or no salt condiments like ketchup and soy sauce)
3.      Eat more fruits and vegetables.
4.      Choose whole grains more often (whole wheat bread instead of white bread; quinoa, barley, buckwheat or brown rice in place of white rice or white pasta; oatmeal or cereals with more than 5 grams of fiber per serving)
5.      When you have a fat, choose a more healthful fat (olive oil, canola oil,  nuts, seeds and avocados instead of butter, lard,  cream, sour cream, and hydrogenated fats)
6.      Relax and enjoy a treat once in a while.

Other ways to keep your heart healthy when you have diabetes
1.      Be a nonsmoker/don’t use nicotine products – if you need help quitting nicotine ask your provider for information about a quit line, online programs and medications that can help you quit.
2.      Control your blood pressure – for most that means a blood pressure under 140/90 mmHg. Some benefit from even low blood pressure levels. Take medication, if needed to keep your blood pressure at a healthy level.
3.      Take a statin if you have heart disease or at high risk for having heart problems. You may need a statin even if you blood cholesterol is not too high.
4.      You may need to take aspirin if you have heart disease – ask your doctor/provider.
5.      Be physically active most days of the week.

More information about taking care of your heart when you live with diabetes can be found at this link:

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Medicare and Diabetes Coverage

Do you know what your Medicare benefits are when you live with diabetes?
FREE annual visits with your Registered Dietitian Nutritionists (RD/RDN) are just one of your many benefits – get help making an eating plan that you can live with, one that still includes your favorite foods and helps you keep your blood sugar at healthy levels!!
Other Medicare diabetes supply and care services like diabetes self management education, foot care, flu and pneumonia shots and blood sugar testing supplies are found on this web site:

Monday, February 1, 2016

Eating with Diabetes

Anything goes with a diabetes diet today. There is no definite plan that works best for everyone with diabetes. Getting help from a trained nutrition professional (Registered Dietitian Nutritionist – RD/RDN) can help you find a way to eat that helps control your blood sugar, a plan that also takes into consideration what you like to eat.  For details about nutrition for adults living with diabetes click on this link: