Medicare offers free diabetes screening for those who want to achieve healthy retirement living, but officials are concerned that more than half of those eligible aren't aware of the program.
The National Council on Aging and the Medicare Diabetes Screening Project recently held a meeting to call attention to the fact that nearly three-quarters of adults aged 65 and over have or are at risk for diabetes.
"Diabetes is a major health threat for seniors and a driver in escalating Medicare costs," said former Senator Tom Daschle at the summit, adding that while early diagnosis can improve care and limit costs, "less than 10 percent of Medicare beneficiaries are screened annually for diabetes."
MDSP is planning outreach programs for community leaders to help spread the word about the screenings, as well as meetings with seniors to teach them what questions to ask doctors and other healthcare professionals.
According to the National Institutes of Health, the condition can also lead to several other diseases, including cardiovascular issues that can lead to amputation, blindness and kidney problems.