Diet, diabetes, dementia awareness

On Tuesday, the Community Coordinating Council Inc. and state Rep. Patrick Jefferson held the first educational seminar of the year, called Diet, Diabetes and Dementia Awareness. The program was held at New Rocky Valley Baptist Church in Grambling.

Valena P. Lane, presiding, gave everyone a warm invitation and orchestrated group participation in the theme song “Fruit of the Spirit.” Pastor Callahan proceeded with prayer shortly after.

One of the eight area coordinators for the Grambling- Mount Olive area, Elmira McCarty, was elated so many people were eager to come out. “When you invite someone to come to an event and they show up it really warms your heart,” said McCarty. 

Greetings were also given from Lincoln Parish School Board member Susan B. Wiley, who briefly shed light on those affected by the extreme inclement weather we experienced recently and instructed us to keep them in our prayers. “What a difference a week makes. Glad to be here on such a beautiful dry day!” she said.

As the program progressed, the first speaker Mrs. Melissa Smith took the podium. Smith, Director of Admissions at Ruston’s Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, is a native of Camden, Arkansas, and has been a registered nurse for over 15 years. 

She briefly spoke on the seven stages of GDS (Global Deterioration Scale), which provides caregivers an overview of the stages of cognitive function for those suffering from dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Have you ever walked into a room and asked yourself, “What did I come in here for? or Where’s my phone? Where are my keys?” 

If the answer is yes, then you’re probably suffering from Dementia or Alzheimer’s.

This is just simple Stage One, stress induced forgetfulness. As one graduates up the scale they experience: repetition, paranoia, anxiety, pain, wandering off, agitation, difficulty completing familiar tasks, short term memory loss, confusion, self-inflicted harm, etc. 

The list is endless. This is why early detection is so important. Four million Americans have been diagnosed thus far. By 2030 that number will have accrued to 14 million people. Seven out of 10 people are living in home with this disease and may be in need of a facility such as the Rehabilitation Center. 

The Center, located on Highway 80 East, has been in operation since October 2013 and is one of the only Nursing & Rehabilitation Centers in Lincoln Parish. Renovations are scheduled to start by the end of this year.

Dietitian and retired professor of home economics, Mary Flournoy closed the program by touching on Diet and Diabetes. 

Very few people are born with diabetes. This is why a person’s diet, specifically the food he or she chose to eat regularly, are so important in prevention. 

Diabetics do not have to cut any food groups out of their diet. The most important things are portion control, seasonings, and how food is prepared.


Foods  to avoid 

• Fruit juice cocktails

• De-germed white rice

• Table sugar     

• Honey or maple syrup 

• Sodas

• Hot cocoa

• White bread or white pasta

• Desserts made with refined flour

• Candy bars

• Doughnuts

Healthier Choices

• Beans, dark green, 

   leafy vegetables 

• Citrus fruits 

• Sweet potatoes

• Berries (strawberries, blueberries, blackberries)

• Tomatoes 

• Oily fish (steamed) 

• Whole grains 

• Nuts and seeds 

• Fat free milk and yogurt