Formal or Informal Community Support in Long-Term Management of Diabetes in Older Adults

Senior (College 4th year) ・Healthcare&Medicine ・APA ・6 Sources

One of the healthcare issues affecting all nations is the increasing number of aged diabetic patients. According to Susan et al. (2010), diabetes is a global epidemic and close to 380 million people could be affected by 2025. Similarly, Menke et al. (2015) state that in the US, the prevalence of diabetes increased to 7.9% in 2008 from 3.5% in 1990. Medical researchers and nutritionists argue that lifestyle factors such as consumption of calorie-rich diets and reduced physical activities contribute to the rising incidents of diabetes (Stellefson et al., 2013). Other factors include genetic inheritance and environment. Countries such as the US have developed funding programs for elderly patients. With this strategy, the number of adults admitted to healthcare facilities is increasing steadily. In relation to this, the treatment efforts that involve administration of insulin, regulated dietary intake and closely monitored physical activities, have proved to be fruitful (Shah et al., 2013; Kim et al., 2012). Unfortunately, many people can afford to pay the high treatment costs. As an alternative solution, hospitals have begun to collaborate with patients to provide home-based care.

Research Problem

According to Tang et al. (2014), the home-based care approach fails to include the rest of the community. Thus, the existing gap is the effectiveness of the community support, whether formal or informal, in the long-term care of the diabetic patients. Therefore, this study will identify the primary supportive role played by the community in enabling the elderly patients in the long-term management of the disease. 


Research Purpose

This study aims at comparing the efficacy of community support in long-term care for older adults with diabetes. The research focuses on both the formal and informal support provided by close family members, relatives, and the entire society. Then, the outcome is compared to the regular hospital treatment approach. 

Research Questions 

This study will be based on the following research questions.

  1. What approaches do hospitals recommend for self-management of diabetes among the elderly patients? 
  2. Do nurse have a critical role in home-based care for diabetic patients?
  3. What role does close family members play in helping the elderly population with diabetes to lead a healthy life?
  4. What strategies, either formal or informal do the community member apply to help the older adults with diabetes?
  5. What is the effectiveness of the community in supporting long-term management of diabetes when compared to hospitals? 


The current issue in nursing care for diabetic patients is poor quality of home-based care, which makes it difficult to record positive outcomes. Therefore, the topic selected for this research offers the best solution for enabling the elderly patients leads a normal life. When making decisions, hospitals fail to consider the significant role played by the community in caring for their members. With this study, it will be possible to identify how the society can help nurses in implementing their treatment plans for the aged patients. Besides, most patients find it difficult to adhere to long-term self-management care programs. Hence, this study is relevant because it shows how the community can help such patients to achieve their set healthcare goals. 


Kim, K. S., Kim, S. K., Sung, K. M., Cho, Y. W., & Park, S. W. (2012). Management of Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus in Older Adults. Retrieved from 

Menke, A., Casagrande, S., Geiss, L., & Cowie, C. C. (2015). Prevalence of and trends in diabetes among adults in the United States, 1988-2012. Jama, 314(10), 1021-1029. Retrieved from

Shah, M., Kaselitz, E., & Heisler, M. (2013). The role of community health workers in diabetes: update on current literature. Current diabetes reports, 13(2), 163-171.

Stellefson, M., Dipnarine, K., & Stopka, C. (2013). Peer reviewed: The chronic care model and diabetes management in US primary care settings: A systematic review. Preventing chronic disease, 10.

Susan van, D., Beulens, J. W., Yvonne T. van der, S., Grobbee, D. E., & Nealb, B. (2010). The global burden of diabetes and its complications: an emerging pandemic. European Journal of Cardiovascular Prevention & Rehabilitation, 17(1_suppl), s3-s8.

Tang, T. S., Funnell, M., Sinco, B., Piatt, G., Palmisano, G., Spencer, M. S., ... & Heisler, M. (2014). Comparative effectiveness of peer leaders and community health workers in diabetes self-management support: results of a randomized controlled trial. Diabetes care, 37(6), 1525-1534. Retrieved from

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