Three Rivers Area Agency on Aging provides services in a 10 county region that includes Butts, Carroll, Coweta, Heard, Lamar, Meriwether, Pike, Spalding, Troup and Upson counties. Three Rivers began a partnership last year with a local faith based community in one of our counties in Barnesville, Ga. This faith based community was already involved with the Georgia Cares Program and having heard about the upcoming Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program offered by Three Rivers, they inquired about becoming a host site. After a great first market with this community, the conversation evolved to other programs that Three Rivers could provide.
With further discussion, this community requested to begin a (D.E.E.P.) class the Fall of 2017. The Diabetes Empowerment Education Program is an Evidence Based Program (D.E.E.P) that is offered through Three Rivers. Evidenced-Based Programs can best be explained as workshops and programs that have been proven, through research, to help promote wellness, nutrition, physical activity, disease prevention and risk management, healthy lifestyle choices, and safety. D.E.E.P. can be described as a self-management program that has been shown to be successful in helping participants take control of their diabetes and reduce the risk of complications.
This D.E.E.P. class had 16 registered participants, with 11 completing the class. There were several components that made this class an engaging success. To begin, the participants had several meaningful conversations with each other that built a good relationship in which the participants felt comfortable with each other. They learned from one another and from the material within the class. They enjoyed interacting with each other during the “hands-on” activities, and these activities helped reinforce material about healthy eating and healthier lifestyle choices. Some participants became more self-aware of the effect their choices impacted upon their health.
With the completion of another successful program, this faith based community has requested to participate in another Evidenced-Based Program that Three Rivers provides, such as a Diabetes Self-Management Program. This has further grown our community connection and partnership in Lamar County. The DSMP class is to begin March 2018.