Re-visioning self-care management for seniors living with diabetes
What? With the number of seniors living with diabetes rapidly growing in Canada, there is an urgent need to develop and implement effective diabetes self-management education (DSME) programs targeted to this population. The DSME programs are designed to educate and engage patients with diabetes in their own care and self-management. Given their educational background, socioeconomic status and overall health, older individuals may require specific educational approaches that take into account their unique limitations, priorities, concerns, goals, health literacy, traditions, culture, and values. More research is thus needed to identify these factors, in order to map those areas where care enhancement initiatives are most needed and to align self-care management educational programs to this population’s specific needs.
Why? The overall purpose of this research project is to design, implement and evaluate an effective DSME program that will best engage seniors in the self-management of their care. Tailoring the DSME program to this particular population can greatly empower them to make evidence informed decisions, ultimately improving their quality of life and clinical outcomes.
How? This goal will be achieved in three phases. In phase 1, we will identify seniors’ needs of DSME by conducting a one-day community consultation with seniors with diabetes living in South East Ontario (see Brochure). In Phase 2, we will conduct a scoping review to map previously reported self-care management educational strategies for seniors living with diabetes. In phase 3, we will use the findings from Phase 1 and Phase 2 to design, implement, and evaluate the DSME program targeted to seniors in that region. Our methodological approach to design and plan the educational program will follow a knowledge-to-action cycle, and will incorporate feedback from practitioners and decision-makers as well as the seniors' information from Phase 1.
Impact of findings: This foundational, original research will benefit participants directly, as the process will be designed to allow for thoughtful consideration and planning of practical strategies that will best serve seniors with diabetes in their local context. Findings will also help practitioners to garner new ways to serve this vulnerable population and may inform the work of other academics and policy-makers for making improvements in seniors’ care.