The nuances that come with managing diabetes in conjunction with the challenges that come with age are often overlooked. We recently conducted a webinar with a panel of experts including Dr. Irl Hirsch, Dr. Michelle Litchman, Dr. Nancy Allen, and Joanne Milo to share their insights on the unique challenges of the aging population with diabetes.
Aside from knowing that this was a topic we hadn’t heard a lot about that warranted more discussion, we at Tidepool honestly were not sure what to expect out of this webinar. So here we are a week later - and what we learned is that we needed far more than an hour and that there is so much opportunity for change. This particular webinar ended up concentrating a lot on the hospital experience - because as we age, the likelihood of being hospitalized for something that is not diabetes related increases. We realize there is an opportunity for more focused discussions around additional struggles that come with aging, and we look forward to facilitating those conversations.
For now, if you were unable to join us live, you can watch the recording on the webinar here:
In case you have something in particular that you are interested in hearing about, here is a breakdown of the topics that were discussed with the approximate timestamp:
0:00 - 3:30 - Introductions.
4:00 - 8:30 - Joanne Milo: patient perspective regarding the fear of hospitalizations.
8:30 - 10:10 - Dr. Litchman provider perspective on targets and opportunities for change: the importance of meaningful goals instead of measurable goals and flexibility.
10:10 - 13:45 - Dr. Hirsch: the importance of communication with patients and customized care.
13:45 - 17:00 - Dr. Allen - the providers role in working with both patients and their care partners and how important hypoglycemia unawareness is.
17:00 - 20:45 Gaps in clinical guidelines: 1) misdiagnosis and 2) inpatient hospital care.
21:00 - 23:00 Community questions: how to make CGM values relevant and relatable to people’s lives [for people who are not good at math].
23:00 - 28:30 - How to be an advocate for yourself in the hospital setting and being prepared.
28:40 - 31:15 - Provider perspective on what they can do: inpatient diabetes care certificates. (or resources like this one from jointcommission.org)
33:15 - 39:00 - Opportunities for improvement in technology.
39:30 - 43:15 - How do we incentivize clinicians to make the system work better → the need for initiatives like Project ECHO.
43:40 - 46:20 - Success stories we can build off and opportunities for change.
46:30 - 51:45 - Diabetes in nursing homes.
51:50 - 56:00 Final thoughts from all panelists.
What we heard from our panel of experts is the urgency of figuring out solutions for the aging population with diabetes, along with how much more focused this discussion could be. We are so grateful for their time in sharing their experience and their insights.