The translation of effective treatments for obesity and diabetes management into clinical care has been slow. However, self-management education and counselling regarding diet and physical activity can improve weight, blood glucose, and lipid levels, and blood pressure control among older adults with type 2 diabetes. A collaborative approach to counselling is more effective than simply lecturing in promoting and sustaining behaviour change. The five A’s to behavioural counselling—assess, advise, agree, assist, and arrange—provide a model for care. A key component of the five A’s for counselling is the development of an action plan that specifies goals and implementation intentions for behaviour change.
Key words: type 2 diabetes mellitus, older adults, behavioural research, patient education, behavioural therapy.