Diabetes Self-Management for People with Disabilities and Type 2 Diabetes

Type 2 diabetes has been, and continues to be, a national epidemic. According to the 2020 Diabetes Statistics Report from the CDC, approximately 34.3 million people (or 10.5% of the US population) have diabetes.  (This has increased from 2007's statistics of 23.6 million people or 7.8% of the U.S. population).  

People with disabilities are three times more likely to develop diabetes. Looking closer to home, according to Oregon’s 2018 Behavior Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS), 18.7% of adults with disabilities have diabetes compared to 6.8% of adults without disabilities.   The good news is that the chronic disease is preventable by improving access to health promotion programs and healthcare, as well as making healthy lifestyle changes. 

The Oregon Office on Disability and Health and the University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities along with our local and national partners are committed to:

  1. increasing the awareness of the seriousness of diabetes and
  2. offering and supporting programs to help people prevent and/or manage their diabetes. 

Cognitopia: a diabetes self-management app

For People with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (I/DD) who have Type 2 Diabetes

Cognitopia and OODH have been working together over the last year to create a diabetes self-management app for people with I/DD and Type 2 Diabetes.  The app is currently being used with a group through May 2021. 

In addition – Club Wellness!

Successful diabetes self-management requires healthy eating choices and regular physical activity. That’s why we’re hosting Club Wellness. All Club Members get together (virtually) for a safe, proven workout - with a seated option for all activities. In addition to learning about safe, effective exercise activities, Club Members learn to make healthy food choices. They’re even given delicious healthy recipes to try. Club Members set a weekly goal to help improve food choices and activity level. The program was developed by experts specifically for individuals with IDD and has proven to be safe and effective for all. 

The best part is Club Wellness is fun and brings Club Members together to encourage and inspire each other. For more information, click here: www.clubwellnesstraining.com.

More about Diabetes and Pre-Diabetes

What is Type 2 Diabetes?

Diabetes is a general term meaning that blood glucose (sugar) is too high. There are three major types of diabetes: 

  • Type 1 (Insulin-Dependent or Juvenile Onset), the body cannot produce insulin; 
  • Type 2 (Non Insulin-Dependent or Adult Onset), the body has a reduced sensitivity to insulin, and the most popular affecting 90% to 95% of the U.S. diabetic population; and 
  • Gestational, occurring during pregnancy.  

With type 2 diabetes, either the body does not produce enough insulin or the cells are resistant to the insulin. Insulin is responsible for moving the glucose (sugar) into the cells to be used for energy. When blood glucose levels are consistently high, the blood becomes thicker, which makes it more difficult for the heart to pump blood throughout the body, leading to poor circulation. Over time, poor circulation due to high blood glucose levels can cause many problems in the body, including diabetic neuropathy (damage to the nerves that allow you to feel sensations such as pain and can lead to amputations), retinopathy (damage to the retina of the eye, which can eventually lead to blindness), and kidney disorders. 

What is Pre-diabetes?

About one-third of adults over the age of 18 have the condition, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). And because there are no symptoms of pre-diabetes, about 90 percent of those people don’t know they have it. Pre-diabetes is diagnosed when one or more screening tests find blood glucose levels that are higher than normal, but lower than those seen with type 2 diabetes. 

According to the 2018 Standards of Medical Care in Diabetes, a health care professional will check for pre-diabetes in overweight or obese adults who:

  • Have an immediate relative (mother, father, sister, or brother) with diabetes
  • Are African American, Latino, American Indian, Asian American, or Pacific Islander
  • Have a history of heart disease
  • History of gestational diabetes
  • High cholesterol
  • Have high blood pressure
  • Are physically inactive
  • Have other clinical conditions associated with insulin resistance

To find out if you are at risk for diabetes, take the diabetes risk test here.

Diabetes Self-Management Video

Woman standing in front of a screen saying 'Know your Diabetes; the game show'
Know Your Diabetes: the Game Show

Do you have a #Disability and #Type2Diabetes? Check out the Diabetes Self-Management Video for People with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities. It's a fun new video to learn ways to stay healthy! Take Care of Your Diabetes  #Diabetes #DisabilityAndDiabetes 

About this video: This video was  created in collaboration with 10 states funded under the CDC cooperative agreement # CDC-RFA-DD16-1603, ‘Improving the health of people with mobility limitations and intellectual disabilities through state-based public health programs.” Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Massachusetts, Michigan, Montana, New Hampshire, New York, Oregon, and South Carolina collaborated to identify a cohort of adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities enrolled in Medicaid. Over the course of the grant, the States are conducting a series of analyses to identify the cohort’s most salient health issues.  Analyses identified high rates of diabetes and pre-diabetes in the selected Medicaid cohort. Based on these results, the States agreed to develop an intervention.  A web-based media product was developed and designed to promote effective diabetes management strategies among persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their caregivers.