Monday, August 26, 2013

Living Healthy: Chronic Disease Self-Managment Program

A growing number of persons suffering from major chronic illnesses face many obstacles in coping with their conditions. Chronic diseases are conditions that are usually not immediately life threatening, however they place substantial burdens on the health, economic status and quality of life of individuals, families and community.  People with chronic conditions must deal not only with the disease(s), but also with the impact on their lives and emotions.

According to a recent study, 79% of non-institutionalized people age 70 and over report having at least 1 of the most chronic conditions affecting this age group.  Those conditions include:
                Heart Disease
                Respiratory Disease
Evidence suggests that a program to help individuals, family members, friends, and care-givers through a self-management program can help improve health.    Living Healthy is an education program that is being offered locally – with an aim to increase the knowledge of people living with chronic conditions and teach them the skills to better manage those conditions. The program provides information and teaches practical skills.

All individuals, who participate in a chronic diseases self management program, will learn about the following subjects:   
Discussing problems common to individuals suffering from chronic diseases
Coping strategies
Problem solving techniques
Treatment decision making
Cognitive management of pain, stress, anger, depression and other negative emotions
Communication with family, friends and physicians
Nutrition and development of a long-term exercise program

A study of past program participants found that hospital stays were reduced; communication with physicians was improved; and participant energy and confidence in their ability to manage conditions improved.

Living Healthy will not conflict with existing programs or treatments.  It is designed to enhance regular treatment and disease specific instruction.

Enthusiasm is growing for the role of a self management program in controlling and preventing chronic diseases.  If you are living with a chronic disease and want to register for a self management program, a free weekly workshop given over 6 weeks is now being offered locally.

Dates and locations include:
John Duke Senior Center
1201 Hyde Park Blvd
Niagara Falls, NY 
Thursdays from 1:00 – 3:30pm
9/5, 9/12, 9/19, 9/26, 10/3, and 10/10


The Dale Association
33 Ontario Street
Lockport, NY  14094
Fridays from 1:00 – 3:30pm
9/6, 9/13, 9/20, 9/27, 10/4, and 10/11

For more information or to register, call or email NY Connects at (716) 438-3030 or, or dial 211 Information services, or visit

Monday, August 5, 2013

Walking for Good Health

 “I have two doctors - my left leg and my right leg" wrote British author George Trevelyan in 1913 about the health benefits of walking. A century later, modern medical experts echo the same advice: Get up and walk.
Walking may be the single best — and easiest — exercise you can do to improve your health in 2013. Not only will going for a daily walk help you feel better now, it will help you maintain your independence and ability to do daily tasks as you age, according to a health professor at Missouri State University who has helped older, sedentary men and women start a walking routine.

Research also has shown that walking regularly can help protect the aging brain against memory loss, dementia, help cut the risk of heart disease, reduce the chance of developing type 2 diabetes in high-risk adults by a whopping 60 percent.  And we're not talking marathon walking. The peak benefits come from 30 minutes of exercise several times a week, say experts.

Most of us do need to move more: Only 30 percent of people ages 45 to 64 say they engage in regular leisure-time physical activity, and that drops to 25 percent for those 65 to 74, according to the National Institute on Aging, which has launched a "get off your duff" campaign called Go4Life.

Go4Life is a federal campaign for people 50 and older and encourages sedentary older adults to reap health benefits by making physical activity part of their daily lives. The campaign developed from concerns that, despite proven health benefits, exercise and physical activity rates among older people are low.
"If we want to become a healthy and fit nation, we need to increase the number of Americans who are healthy at every stage of life," says the U.S. Surgeon General.  "Go4Life provides older adults with the tools and resources to get moving and keep moving. We are moving our health care system from a focus on sickness and disease to a focus on wellness and prevention."