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Workshop Offers Help For People With Chronic Medical Conditions

Patients and caregivers can attend sessions that will allow them to take a more active role in healthcare.

Adults of any age may experience long-term health conditions such as arthritis, diabetes, heart disease, asthma, fibromyalgia, hypertension, depression or any other ongoing conditions. People with such conditions may need to learn to manage symptoms, take different medications, start new regimens and just get used to having such a condition. This can lead to confusion, frustration and even discouragement. Help is available!

“Take Control of Your Health” is a six-session workshop that that gives people with chronic conditions and/or their caregivers the knowledge, skills and confidence to take a more active role in their health care. Whether someone has had a condition for a long time or was just diagnosed, “Take Control” can help.

Workshops are led by certified peer-leaders and are offered free or at low cost. The Madison, Chatham Borough, Chatham Township and Springfield Boards of Health and Morristown Medical Center will be offering the workshop on Wednesdays from March 20 through April 24, from 1 to 3:30 p.m. at the Chatham Senior Center. Those wishing to attend the course must register by calling 1-800-247-9580.

Family members, friends and caregivers are also welcome, as they will benefit from the information personally and develop a better understanding of living with a long-term condition.

Small groups of participants (usually 10 to 15) meet for 2-1/2 hours, once a week for six weeks. During the highly interactive sessions led by pairs of trained leaders, workshop participants will learn how to overcome daily challenges and maintain an active, fulfilling life. The program is based on self-efficacy theory and emphasizes problem solving, decision-making and confidence building. Participants learn about healthier ways to live, gain confidence and motivation to manage their health and feel more positive about their lives. Research confirms that people who participated in the workshop increased healthful behaviors, believed their health had improved, were less limited in their daily activities, were less bothered by their illness and had greater confidence in their ability to manage their condition.

A person who completed the program wrote on his evaluation, “I feel my health has improved and I have reached a number of personal goals. This course has been most beneficial and I would highly recommend it to others.”

Interested people are urged to call 800-247-9580 now to enroll in the class as registration is required and on a first come-first served basis.

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