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Living Well: A Self Management Workshop Series

Living Well: A Self Management Workshop Series

Prince Edward County Community Care for Seniors and the Prince Edward Family Health Team are once again teaming up to offer another workshop series for anyone experiencing ongoing physical and mental health conditions. This series was developed by Stanford University in California and offers a practical approach to a healthy life for anyone facing long-term health problems such as heart disease or arthritis.

The Stanford University Patient Education Research Centre has developed, tested and evaluated the effectiveness of a self-management program for people living with chronic diseases. The program has been adopted worldwide. It is this program that is now being co-sponsored by the Prince Edward Family Health Team and Prince Edward Community Care. Volunteer leaders have received the extensive training required to be certified as Stanford leaders. Community Care's executive director, Debbie MacDonald Moynes, says "we're thrilled that we have been able to send two local people to be trained as Stanford presenters".

The Living Well Self Management Workshop Program is a series of six 2 hour small-group workshops where participants with different types of chronic diseases learn together. Participants will learn techniques to deal with frustration, fatigue, pain and isolation. They will learn about proper nutrition and how to safely increase activity, how to solve problems and how to make decisions. Participants will also learn how to develop a personal action plan. Emphasis is placed on building self-management skills, sharing experiences and gaining support from other participants living with chronic diseases.

Gisela Tomlinson, a Stanford trainer for the Arthritis Self-Management series will be co-facilitating the Chronic Disease Self-Management workshops with Dawn Calnan-Kerr, a Registered Nurse who worksat Sandbanks Medical Centre in Wellington. Gisela says "I find it rewarding to teach the Self-Management workshops. Volunteering to help people is a very fulfilling experience. I get a feeling of joy and satisfaction knowing that I've made a difference in someone's life."

By attending the workshops, participants can increase their motivation and confidence in their ability to manage their daily lives in spite of health problems. By developing self-management skills, participants may be able to reduce the frequency of visits to their health care provider, and reduce emergency room visits and hospitalizations, ultimately improving quality of life.

Duff Sprague, executive director of the PEFHT comments "it is critical that local health care providers continue to look for partnership opportunities to deliver better health care and health education.Our physicians, nurse practitioners and clinicians are seeing an ever growing list of patients with multiple chronic diseases and we want to empower these patients to have the best quality of life possible. By combining our clinical expertise with Community Care for Seniors' success in developing a strong, well-trained and committed volunteer base, together we will offer self-management workshops to our community through which participants will better manage their health and improve their quality of life."
The course will be offered every Thursday from October 6th to November 10th 1:00pm to 3:00pm, at the Sandbanks Medical Centre, 12 Prince Edward Drive in Wellington. The cost is $35.00 which includes a reference book. A spouse or family member may also attend for an additional $15.00. Special reduced fee for the Fall 2011 series is $15.00 (includes reference book) and $5.00 for the second person. To register or for more information call 613-476-7493. Space is limited to 14 people.

The Prince Edward Family Health Team (PEFHT) provides a single point of access to health care services for all County residents. The interdisciplinary care teams offers comprehensive patient-centred, primary health care including disease diagnosis, treatment and management, prevention and cure, rehabilitation, palliative care and community health promotion. For more information on PEFHT call 613-476-0400 or http://www.pefht.ca/ . By clicking on "Special Projects" at this site, you can learn more about the Stanford Workshop series.

The Prince Edward County Community Care for Seniors Association supports seniors to live independently at home. Services include Meals on Wheels, transportation to medical appointments & shopping, noon-time dinners for seniors, help with forms, reassurance programs, caregiver support, homemaking, yard work and home maintenance. The agency is partly funded by the Ministry of Health & Long-Term Care through the South East Local Health Integration Network and supported by donations and community fundraising efforts. For more information call Prince Edward Community Care at 613-476-7493 or www.communitycareforseniors.org

To learn more about Stanford Self-Management Programs visit the following site: http://patienteducation.stanford.edu/programs/