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Extension’s Online Diabetes Support Group Offers way to Connect

The Cooperative Extension Service, part of the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture, will offer an 8-week online support group for people living with diabetes. Participation is free, and registration is open at https://uaex.co1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_eaJQYv1rDlWcsUl. Register by January 15, 2021.

The group – “Delta Day to Day with Diabetes” – will meet from January 11-February 28, 2021. The participation for this is statewide. Everyone interested is welcome! Virtual meetings will be offered on Mondays with additional resources in health, wellness, nutrition and fitness posted throughout the week. Some of the features will include a Monday meeting, Tasty Tuesday for sharing recipes, Wellness Wednesday, Think about it Thursday, Fitness Friday, and Wonderful Weekends.

Meeting times will be based on participants’ availability.

“Most of us know someone affected by diabetes,” said Dr. Pamela Pruett, Mississippi County Extension Family and Consumer Sciences Agent. “The group will be a way to connect with others who are managing diabetes or living with someone with diabetes. It’s a good way to start off the New Year.”

Nearly 15 percent of Arkansans — about 360,000 people — have diabetes, and 800,000 more residents have pre-diabetes, according to the American Diabetes Association’s Arkansas Chapter.

Dallas County extension agent Crystal Johnson, Jefferson County agent Mary Ann Kizer, and Arkansas County extension agent Alta Lockley who specialize in family consumer sciences, are co-hosting the online meetings, but participation is not limited to those counties. The group is free and open to anyone with diabetes or anyone living or caring for someone with diabetes.

“We wanted something that would be virtual so people could find encouragement from each other, especially as we are socially distancing,” Johnson said. “It will be a place where they can discuss and share recipes and strategies helpful to them for managing diabetes.”

Extension currently offers a year-round diabetes prevention training as well as a four-week Living with Diabetes curriculum through its Family and Consumer Sciences Division.

“We will pull some information from those programs for our group meetings,” Kizer added. “We’ll keep the meeting short and vary the topics, so participants will perhaps learn something new or be motivated to try a new recipe or a new exercise.”

“I will assist with teaching some of the virtual sessions,” said Dr. Pruett. “I encourage adults in Northeast Arkansas consider participating if you are interested in practical general diabetes research-based information and managing or helping someone manage diabetes.

Recipes, other helpful handouts and posts with relevant tips, and more will be accessible on the facebook group page as well as the recorded Monday meeting sessions if you are unable to participate in the scheduled Zoom or Facebook live lessons.”

For more information visit www.uaex.edu/diabetes or call the Hempstead County Extension office at 870-777-5771.

Article by Pamela Pruett, ppruett@uaex.edu

The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture offers all its Extension and Research programs and services without regard to race, color, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, religion, age, disability, marital or veteran status, genetic information, or any other legally protected status, and is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer.

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