Chronic diseases are incurable but manageable conditions. They include heart disease, cancer, diabetes, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and arthritis. Four in ten adults in the U.S. live with two or more of these types of illnesses. The good news is chronic diseases don’t have to stop us from aging well and expanding life’s possibilities.

On Mondays beginning January 29, 2024, from 1:30 p.m. to 4 p.m., Valley Program for Aging Services (VPAS) will present the Chronic Disease Self-Management Program workshop at the VMRC Wellness Center Activity Studio. The program will last through March 4 and is for adults living with chronic illnesses and their family members and caregivers.

Elaine Christensen took the workshop last year. She recommends this experience for “anybody who is struggling with a chronic illness and wants to change their behaviors.”

Her takeaways included:

  • The importance of nutrition in managing a chronic disease
  • How distraction techniques help
  • Problem-solving steps
  • How to maintain a positive outlook

Elaine also enjoyed the camaraderie of others in the workshop.

“I enjoyed having a buddy throughout the class to connect with in between sessions,” she said.

The expertise shared through this workshop comes from the Stanford Chronic Disease Self-Management Program, developed by Kate Lorig and Halsted Holman. The program empowers individuals with chronic diseases to take control of their health.

The program focuses on the following:

  • Teaching participants about their specific condition and self-management techniques.
  • Equipping participants with skills to cope with common challenges.
  • Supporting participants in making informed choices about their health.
  • Fostering effective communication with healthcare providers.

This research-backed program has demonstrated significant, positive results for program participants, including:

  • Reduced pain, fatigue, and depression, and increased energy and activity levels.
  • Participants gain confidence and control over their health.
  • Lower hospital admissions and emergency room visits.

Elaine can attest to these results.

“Taking the class helped with the pain I was previously dealing with,” she added. “And I can apply [what I learned] now with a new situation that grew worse.”

This workshop is free. For more success in aging healthfully, register today by calling 540-574-3850. Family members and caregivers are also welcome to attend. Hurry, space is limited.