Are you feeling alone, tired, upset or depressed because you are trying to manage your everyday life while dealing with an ongoing, chronic, (long-term) health condition? Have you hit some “roadblocks” in getting yourself to the next level of wellness and need some guidance on taking those next steps? Or maybe you are a caregiver of someone with a chronic condition and you are experiencing frustration, fatigue or your own health problems, and possibly no one with whom to share your concerns.
No one wants to have a chronic, long-term health condition, but the truth of the matter is that most of us will experience one, two or more of these conditions during our lifetime. Many of the feelings just mentioned are similar and common across the spectrum of all chronic health conditions and can become part of a vicious cycle that alone or together may contribute to other symptoms, making the illness or caregiver responsibilities seemingly worse.
Better Choices, Better Health workshops can help! A program that was developed, implemented, and extensively researched over the last 20 years by Stanford University, it has now become widely available across the United States. We are excited to offer this evidence-based program to our community through Exeter Hospital’s HealthReach Community Education Department. This program is presented in partnership with the New Hampshire Chronic Disease Self-Management Program, a statewide network led by the NH Department of Health and Human Services and NH Area Health Education Centers (AHEC). The network is funded by a grant from the United States Administration on Aging through funds made available by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.
- Better Choices, Better Health is a 6-week workshop that meets for 2.5 hrs each week.
- The program is designed to help adult participants self-manage their stable chronic health conditions by encouraging mutual support of and confidence in participants’ abilities to maintain their wellness.
- It is not specific to any one disease, but instead addresses a variety of topics that are commonly encountered when dealing with ongoing health conditions, including but not limited to chronic pain, arthritis, heart disease, diabetes, asthma, COPD, Parkinson’s, stroke, fibromyalgia or osteoporosis. These and other long-term conditions can often dramatically affect people’s lifestyle and prevent them from achieving the things they want to accomplish.
- Topics include:
- general nutrition
- exercise for maintaining and improving strength, flexibility and endurance
- techniques to deal with frustration, fatigue, pain and isolation
- proper management of medications
- suggested ways to understand and evaluate new treatments
- more effective communication with health professionals, family and friends
- The program is facilitated by two trained and certified leaders, both of whom are either caregivers or have chronic conditions themselves
- Class size is limited to 10-16 participants
- Locations vary.