Let’s Talk Diabetes: Second annual Annapolis Valley event to feature exercise and food demos

The first Let's Talk Diabetes Day (Submitted).
The first Let's Talk Diabetes Day (Submitted).

Looking for the perfect way to spend World Diabetes Day? Look no further.

Nova Scotia Health Authority (NSHA) is hosting the second annual Let’s Talk Diabetes event on Nov. 14, 2019 at the Louis Millet Community Complex in New Minas – and all are invited.

Planned by a group of local community partners, volunteers and multi-disciplinary health professionals and allies, Let’s Talk Diabetes is an event that strives to create additional ways to help people with Type 2 diabetes live well and feel empowered doing so.

Heather Angell, dietitian at Valley Regional Hospital, has helped plan the event for the past two years. She says it’s an event that has something for everyone and provides a holistic approach for those living with or caring for someone with Type 2 diabetes.

“Roughly 90 per cent of people who have diabetes are diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes,” said Angell. “It impacts a lot of people in a lot of different ways and we wanted to reach as many as we could. That includes those who have been diagnosed, their families, as well as caregivers.”

The event, which drew over 100 people last year, will have a number of new and exciting additions to the day’s schedule, thanks to the feedback gathered from attendees.

“We had a lot of positive feedback last year from speakers, vendors and guests,” said Angell. “We handed out bingo chips and asked everyone to throw their chip into a bucket that best matched their experience. We also distributed surveys and had a comment box for those who were interested.”

Those who attend this year can expect an array of activities, including exercise and food demos, presentations by guest speakers, panelist discussions, as well as a strong health and community booth component, all with the purpose of being as hands on and interactive as possible.

“Some highlights include a focus on foot health and the importance of sleep and how it impacts diabetes and self-management,” noted Angell. “We’ll also have sessions on exercise, a dietitian panel and cooking demonstrations with different food products and appliances.”

Angell is particularly excited about one component of the event. Participants are invited to wear a blue shirt and partake in a group photo to commemorate World Diabetes Day.

“Last year we gathered on the Valley Regional helicopter pad, engaged in a group stretch and stood together in an effort to mark the day and normalize what it is to live with Type 2 diabetes. This year we will be forming the circle at the Louis Millet Community Centre as part of the Let’s Talk Diabetes afternoon.”

With the momentum of a successful year behind them, Angell and team hope to continue forward with the Let’s Talk Diabetes event for many years to come – reaching and connecting their communities.

“We’d like everyone to know that this exists,” said Angell. “We’d like to really get the whole valley involved, continue to provide fun and creative ways to pass along new information and provide support to those who need it.”

The Let’s Talk Diabetes event will be held from 1p.m. to 4 p.m. at the Louis Millet Community Complex at 9489 Commercial Street in New Minas. Registration is not required and there is free admission upon entry.

Please visit www.diabetes.ca for more information.