Monday, January 29, 2018

Chronic Disease Self-Management

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 older adults report having at least one of the most chronic conditions affecting this age group. Those conditions include: Arthritis Hypertension Heart Disease Diabetes Respiratory Disease Stroke Pain Evidence suggests that a program to help individuals, family members, friends, and care-givers through a self-management program can help improve health. Locally, an educational program is being offered – 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. This program 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 dealing with pain, arthritis, lung conditions or anything that affects how you live your daily life or are caring for someone with the above conditions, I encourage you to please register for the free workshop. It is a 6 week workshop series for adults with ongoing health conditions and/or their caregivers. Along with great information, participants receive a free “Living a Healthy Life with Chronic Conditions” book, a free relaxation CD, and other free giveaways throughout the workshop. The six week workshop begins Wednesday, January 31, 2018 from 1:00 to 3:30pm at The Dale Association, 33 Ontario Street, Lockport, NY 14094. For more information or to register, call Niagara County Department of Health Public Health Nursing at 278-1900 or Niagara County NY Connects at 438-3030 or

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