Program aims to help seniors with chronic diseases

First Posted: 2/15/2009

A new program called Living Healthy, aimed at helping people 60 and older who live with a chronic disease, is set to begin March 19.
The six-week program will consist of free weekly meetings in which people trained in caring for different diseases and conditions give talks, and facilitate discussions among those attending the meetings.
This is for adults age 60 and over who have a chronic disease such as COPD, arthritis, heart disease, asthma, fibromyalgia, any chronic disease, said Alexis Rejeski of the Northwest Piedmont Area Agency and Aging.
The focus of the meetings is to help people understand how they can live with their diseases.
The idea is to help people change their lifestyles to not have as many problems with the disease they have, and to prevent disease down the road, she said. This will be educational, very interactive, it is teaching people how to change their behaviors, in order to live healthy lives.
This program teaches them how to set goals, how to talk to their doctors, how to better manage their medication, how to deal with some of the chronic disease side effects they have to deal with every day.
She said an example of what they might explore would be for someone who has just been diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes.
They may have been told they need to alter their weight. One way to do that is to begin an exercise program. We could help them learn how to incorporate exercise into their daily routine.
Rejeski said that while the classes are free, advance registration is required.
People who want to participate need to call me by March 12, she said. She can be reached at 761-2111, ext. 125.
The meeting times will be from 1 p.m. until 3 p.m. or 3:30 p.m. each Thursday for the six weeks beginning on March 19. Rejeski said all participants will receive a free book and CD.

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