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The diabetic diet is a hot button in culture change and resident choice. The culture change movement has placed more emphasis on resident choice and patient-centered care in all aspects of senior living, including dining choices. In skilled nursing settings, a culture shift in dining is also occurring.

Research indicates long-term care residents eat better when they are given a less restrictive diet of regular foods rather than a calorie-controlled diet. According to the American Diabetes Associationís (ADA) most recent position statement, ďThe imposition of dietary restrictions on elderly residents with diabetes in long-term health facilities is not warranted.Ē Additionally, there is no evidence to support no concentrated sweets or no sugar added diets. It is preferable to make medication changes rather than implement food restrictions to control blood glucose. Physicians and clinicians may need education on the American Medical Directors Association (AMDA) or ADA that emphasizes the physicianís greater responsibility to control unacceptable blood glucose levels by pharmacological means and in consideration of the individualís food consumption and activity level - not by an overly restrictive diet order.

Change in diabetes management, diabetes education, and the diabetes diet is essential. The ADA diet is no longer appropriate. Eating healthfully, timing meals regularly, following menus consistent in the amount of carbohydrates, and watching a residentís weight continue to be important to manage diabetes.

At the completion of this session, the attendees will be able to:
  1. Learn effective techniques in communicating the importance of liberalized diets with less food restrictions.
  2. Increase resident food satisfaction while maintaining blood sugars.
  3. Learn tips in adapting menus to meet the residentsí needs and receive valuable education tools.

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