News

Ingersoll Active Living Fair showcases senior’s services, programs for older adults

By Heather Rivers, Woodstock Sentinel-Review

Julie McConkey-Barks is a registered dietician who teaches people how to control their diabetes through the Diabetes Education Program. (HEATHER RIVERS/SENTINEL-REVIEW)

Julie McConkey-Barks is a registered dietician who teaches people how to control their diabetes through the Diabetes Education Program. (HEATHER RIVERS/SENTINEL-REVIEW)

There is bad news for those who enjoy a daily extra-large double double.

It may come as a surprise that each coffee contains nine teaspoons or 36 grams of sugar.

And for those enjoy one can of pop daily, over the course of a month it adds up to five pounds of sugar or 2.5 pounds of fat.

According to registered dietician Julie McConkey-Barks, all that sugar can add to a person’s risk for diabetes, a serious disease that can shear years off your life.

McConkey-Barks, of the Diabetes Education Program at Tillsonburg District Memorial Hospital and Alexandra Hospital, was one of 35 vendors at the Successful Aging Expo Saturday at Ingersoll Services for Seniors/50 + Centre.

McConkey-Barks said recent statistics now show one in three Canadians either has diabetes or pre-diabetes.

“That is why they are calling it a tsunami,” she said. “The tidal wave is still hitting us.”

To ward off the disease she recommends doing “more or less what your mother taught you.”

“Eat three meals a day, eat your breakfast and eat lots of vegetables,” she advised. “And go outside and play — get your activity in.”

The Diabetes Education Program sees about 30 to 35 people a month and people can refer themselves if they so desire.

McConkey-Barks said “self-management” is key to managing diabetes.

“We have to look after ourselves if we want to have that golden old age,” she said.

The Successful Aging Expo, funded by a grant from the Older Adults Centre Association of Ontario and the Ministry of Senior’s Affairs, was designed to provide information to older adults on programs and services that assist with active living for older adults.

Derek Ethier, of the Ministry of Seniors Affairs, said the successful aging event is offered at dozens of locations across the province to “engage seniors in the community and support an active lifestyle.”

HRivers@postmedia.com