How to self-manage chronic disease

November Is National COPD Awareness Month

Do you suffer from a chronic disease such as arthritis, diabetes, cancer, COPD, stroke or any ongoing health concern? If so, you are not alone. In fact, 145 million Americans suffer from some type of chronic disease.

Johnson County Department of Health and Environment has partnered with the Kansas Department of Health and Environment and Kansas Foundation for Medical Care to offer Chronic Disease Self-Management Education to help ease the burden of those one in two Americans who suffer from some sort of chronic disease.

CDSME workshops, developed by Stanford University, are free, interactive and evidence-based. These workshops are designed to help individuals with chronic conditions learn how to manage and improve their own health, while reducing health care costs.

Workshops are led by two trained leaders, one or both of whom are living with a chronic disease.

The following topics are covered:

  • Techniques to deal with problems such as frustration, fatigue, pain and isolation.
  • Exercises for maintaining and improving strength, flexibility and endurance.
  • Appropriate use of medications.
  • Communicating better with family, friends and health professionals about your conditions.
  • Nutrition, decision-making and how to evaluate new treatments for your disease.

Each session is 2 ½ hours long and participants receive a workbook, relaxation CD and class incentives. The sessions are highly interactive and designed to help people gain self-confidence in their ability to control their symptoms, better manage their health problems and lead fuller lives. Participants meet once a week for six weeks.

Friends, relatives and caregivers of the person living with a chronic condition are encouraged to attend as well. Adults of any age can benefit from the skills taught in this free workshop.

A new class is starting soon at the Lenexa Senior Center, 13425 Walnut St. Lenexa, meeting on Thursdays, Sept. 1- Oct. 6. Class time is 12:30-3 p.m. Space is limited. Call 913-477-7100 to register.

Additional CDSME workshops will be coming soon to Johnson County. Email for more information.