by Carilyne Vance
Volunteers with the Institute of Gerontology’s (IOG) In-Service Program usually attend the monthly event to obtain information for their clients. While the info obtained can also be helpful to themselves, volunteers are not the usual focus. But this month, it was different.
Ensuring the proper care for others may be done at a sacrifice to volunteer. Caregivers often do not make their own care nor needs a priority. With lack of time or assistance often being the culprit, and therefore the Institute of Gerontology partnered with the Nursing Program to bring care to the volunteers.
Program participants were given detailed presentations on the causes and symptoms of diabetes and high blood pressure along with the accompanying basic health screenings. Often preventable, early detection and proper management are stressed to those at risk for or are managing these diseases. In addition, participants received important information on the role of nutrition and its’ effect on the body.
The event was a resounding success, as evident by the sentiments of the attendees, some of which had not seen a physician in over ten years. One volunteer stated that while Hypertension had been a continuous issue with their family members, they never saw the importance of its management. Given the information on the types of strokes associated with the disorder and the role heredity played, making an appointment with a physician became a top priority for him.
Another realized the importance of diet in relation to overall health and appreciated the information on how small changes could make a big difference. A recipient of diabetes screening became aware of the different types of the disease and how managing their glucose levels could ward off its’ most debilitating effects. They were also encouraged with the possibility of being able to eliminate the disease in its’ entirety with proper diet and exercise.
Each area was researched by designated teams and presented to the audience by Wanda Booker (Diabetes and Basal Metabolic Mass (BMI), John Szarenski (Hypertension and Stroke) and Carmen Smith (Nutritional Teaching).
Many thanks were expressed to the Nursing students and IOG for making this valuable information and the associated screenings available.