Community organizations can play a vital role in educating people with diabetes and their family members about the importance of managing diabetes to prevent complications. Various national organizations (e.g., the American Diabetes Association, American Association of Diabetes Educators) may have a local chapter in your area that is working to help your friends and neighbors with diabetes. Some action steps for community organizations to consider include:
- Develop a directory of community resources for diabetes care and supplies that can be distributed to people with diabetes and their caregivers.
- Support efforts to raise awareness for diabetes by participating in local and national walk, run, or bike rides for diabetes.
- Coordinate efforts with groups that address chronic conditions related to diabetes, such as obesity and heart disease.
- Partner with local media outlets to develop and distribute messages about the importance of managing diabetes.
- Distribute information about diabetes treatment and management within the community (e.g., at stores, shopping malls, senior citizen centers, etc.).
- Organize support groups where people with diabetes and their caregivers can meet with health professionals and their peers to discuss ways to manage diabetes.
- Coordinate with local members of various racial/ethnic groups to develop patient education materials in different languages and formats.
- Encourage local restaurants and food chains to flag menu items that are appropriate for people with diabetes and/or provide nutritional information content of menu items.
- Join with local Chambers of Commerce to recognize employers for providing working conditions that support people with diabetes (e.g., Health Friendly
- Partner with State Diabetes Prevention and Control Programs run by the State Health Department.