Living Healthy

Logo LHPositive self-management is not a groundbreaking new age idea. It is a lifestyle that could change your life forever! People living with chronic health conditions have no choice but to self-manage their lives, whether it is to be active and live a full life, or to do nothing and suffer in silence.

Living with a chronic condition does not have to be become the center of your existence. You can live a life with filled with enjoyment and pleasure. The Eastern Carolina Council Area Agency on Aging partners with local organizations and aging service providers to offer the Chronic Disease Self-Management Program (CDSMP), called Living Healthy. The workshop, developed at Stanford University, is designed to empower the patient to take control of their chronic condition rather than allowing the condition to control them.

While no one wants to have a chronic health problem, most of us will experience two or more of these conditions during our lives. They include: arthritis, lung disease, chronic heartburn, fibromyalgia, heart failure, heart disease, diabetes, renal failure, stroke, high blood pressure, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, obesity and cancer.

If you have any ongoing health problems, this workshop will change your life! Over the course of six weeks, you will learn how to deal with difficult emotions, use your mind to manage symptoms, appropriate exercise for optimal health, manage medications, nutrition, set goals, problem solve and best of all, you will meet new friends.

The Living Healthy program works! Over a thousand people with a chronic condition participated in a randomized, controlled test of CDSMP over the course of three years. Compared with those who did not attend the workshop, CDSMP participants showed a significant improvement in exercise, cognitive symptom management, communication with physicians, self-reported general health, health distress, fatigue, social roles, reduced days in the hospital and fewer outpatient visits. In fact, it is estimated that for every dollar spent on the program, ten dollars are saved.

Participants receive a FREE copy of Living a Healthy Life with Chronic Conditions and a relaxation CD.

Living Healthy with Diabetes

DSMP PhotoThe Diabetes Self-Management Program, called Living Healthy with Diabetes, is a six-week program that will help participants better manage their diabetes.  In North Carolina, nearly one in five individuals has diabetes or is at risk of developing it. Diabetes is the seventh leading cause of death in our state and mortality rates are higher for men and for African Americans.  According to the North Carolina Diabetes Prevention and Control, this particular chronic health disease costs our state $5.3 billion annually, including medical care, lost productivity and premature mortality.  Direct medical expenditures total $3.6 billion.

Risk factors for type two diabetes include age (people over the age of 45 are at higher risk for diabetes), family history, obesity, lack of regular exercise, race and ethnicity (African, Hispanic, and Native Americans are at a higher risk), a history of having diabetes during pregnancy, low level HDL or good cholesterol, or high triglyceride level.  People who are at risk for diabetes can manage their blood sugar in many ways through proper diet, exercise, regular foot inspections, medications, and regular hemoglobin A1c monitoring.

Managing a chronic health condition like diabetes can be challenging, but there is hope!  Older adults who have diabetes, pre-diabetes, or care for someone with the condition have an opportunity to learn how to manage their chronic condition.  The Eastern Carolina Council Area Agency on Aging and regional service providers offer the Living Healthy with Diabetes through Eastern Carolina.

Living Healthy with Diabetes is given 2 ½ hours once a week for six weeks in community settings such as senior centers, older adult living facilities, and churches.  Participants will learn different techniques to deal with symptoms of diabetes, appropriate exercise for maintaining health, healthy eating, appropriate use of medication, and working with health care providers.

For more information about this program contact:

Andrea Reese
Human Services Planner/Aging Specialist
252-638-3185 x3015
areese@eccog.org

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