For most of her life, Doris didn’t worry much about her health. Then at 67, she was diagnosed with diabetes and high blood pressure. She tried to follow her doctor’s advice to take her medications, exercise, and eat better. But often she was tired and even a little depressed. “I figured it was just part of getting older,” she recalls.
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Then a friend told Doris about the Living Well with Chronic Conditions workshop series. Developed by Stanford University, this workshop has been offered at hundreds of locations throughout the United States.
It helps participants with ongoing health conditions such as arthritis, diabetes, high blood pressure, anxiety, heart disease, anxiety and other conditions to:
- Find better ways of dealing with pain and fatigue
- Discover easy exercises to help improve or maintain strength and energy
- Learn the appropriate use of medications
- Improve nutrition
- Talk effectively with family, friends and health professionals
- Understand new treatment choices
- Feel better about life
“I now have a new sense of being in control,” said Doris. “The workshop really helped me put life back in my life.”
Taught by specially trained leaders, some who have chronic conditions themselves, the program covers a new topic each week and provides opportunities for people to interact and problem solve in small groups.
These workshops are available in communities across Washington State and are available either free or at a very low cost based on ability to pay or insurance benefit coverage.
The Chronic Disease Self Management Program is co-sponsored by the Department of Social and Health Services-Aging and Disabilities Services Administration, and the Department of Health. Local agencies and organizations in the community provide the Living Well with Chronic Conditions workshops in English. Some communities also offer the Spanish version, Tomando Control de su Salud.
Find workshops in your community or call Maureen Lally or Candy Goehring at 1-800-422-3263.