HAMILTON COUNTY, TN – The Chattanooga-Hamilton County Health Department is offering a free workshop to teach people how to manage chronic conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, or COPD. The workshop is one day a week for 6 weeks, beginning Thursday, June 2nd through Thursday, July 7th, from 9-11am at the Eastgate Senior Center. Anyone of any age with any chronic condition can attend, including caregivers, however registration is required.
“When someone is diagnosed with a chronic illness,” explains Health Department Chronic Disease Educator Chelauna Sterling, “they think that life is over. We teach them self-management skills that not only can prevent the disease from getting worse but also help them get the most out of life.”
Chronic diseases are any disease or condition that lasts a long time or a lifetime. Not always do they result in death but they can still cause pain, discomfort, daily challenges, and financial hardship. Oftentimes an overburdened healthcare system is unable to meet all the patient’s needs, and the expense of treatment may keep someone from seeking help. In these situations, knowing how to bring your own symptoms under control can prevent further suffering and unnecessary expense. A self-management approach to chronic disease education gives people the knowledge, tools and confidence to take charge of their conditions.
Topics in the workshop include:
- techniques to deal with frustration, fatigue, pain and isolation,
- guidelines for improving and maintaining strength, flexibility, and endurance,
- appropriate use of medications,
- effective communication with family, friends, and health professionals,
- healthy nutrition,
- decision making skills,
- how to evaluate new treatments.
According to the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), as of 2012, about half of all adults in the US—117 million people—had one or more chronic health conditions. Seven of the top 10 causes of death in 2010 were chronic diseases. Two of these chronic diseases—heart disease and cancer—together accounted for nearly 48% of all deaths.
The “Living Well with Chronic Conditions” program is led by two Health Department certified educators. The program does not provide medical evaluation or treatment; rather it is a compliment to the medical care participants are receiving from their regular healthcare provider. Each participant in the workshop receives a copy of the companion book, Living a Healthy Life With Chronic Conditions, 4th Edition, and an audio relaxation CD, Relaxation for Mind and Body. In order to gain the benefits of this program, participants are strongly encouraged to attend all 6 sessions.
For more information visit the Health Department’s website at Health.HamiltonTN.org. To register for the upcoming workshop at Eastgate, or to inquire about hosting the workshop at your facility, please call423-209-8246.