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Living Well with Chronic Disease

A chronic disease is one that lasts a long time and usually is not curable. People living with chronic diseases often need to make lifestyle changes to accommodate their conditions. Chronic diseases are not just diseases of the elderly. Younger people also have chronic conditions like arthritis, asthma, diabetes and heart disease. The Chronic Disease Self-Management workshop series that was developed by Stanford University in California is again available locally.

Many people struggle to manage multiple chronic diseases, which can be overwhelming for them and their families. Stress, anxiety and depression are common among people living with chronic diseases. When people have difficulty managing their health conditions, they may end up in the emergency room or admitted to hospital.

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.

The Chronic Disease Self-Management Program is a series of six 2 hour small-group workshops where participants with different types of chronic diseases learn together.

Gisela and Debbie
Gisela Tomlinson, one of the Trainers for the Chronic Disease Management
Course looks over the book for the course with Debbie MacDonald Moynes,
executive director for Community Care for Seniors.

By attending the workshops, participants can increase their motivation and confidence in their ability to manage their chronic conditions. 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.

The course will be offered in the spring at the Community Care for Seniors office, 206 Main Street in Picton. The fee of $35.00 includes a 400 page reference book. A spouse or family member may also attend for $15/person. Register in advance by calling Community Care at 613-476-7493. Space is limited to 14 people. Dates will be announced soon.

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 www.pefht.ca

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 and 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