Leaders needed for self-management programs


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The Area Agency on Aging District 7 (AAA7) is looking for community leaders to assist with facilitating its Chronic Disease and Diabetes Self-Management Classes. Community or lay leaders will continue to support the classes in their individual communities after they complete training through the AAA7. An upcoming training is scheduled in Portsmouth beginning May 16 for those interested in serving as a lay leader in their community.

Self-management programs for people with chronic conditions and diabetes are designed to help those with chronic diseases such as high blood pressure, asthma, arthritis and diabetes, learn to manage their conditions and take control of their health. The Chronic Disease Self-Management Program (CDSMP) and Diabetes Self-Management Program (DSMP) was created at Stanford University and is a proven community initiative that provides health benefits and promotes disease prevention.

CDSMP and DSMP are six-session workshops that meet once a week where participants learn how to minimize symptoms such as fatigue, pain, stress and depression. It teaches skills for communication, managing medications, better breathing, and how to design your own self-management program. The program focuses on the participants’ role in managing their illnesses and building their confidence so that they can be successful in adopting healthier behaviors. Workshops are highly interactive, where workshop leaders, as well as group members, provide support while learning new techniques for dealing with symptoms.

To expand this evidence-based program, the AAA7 is looking for individuals to become trained lay leaders who are volunteers that typically have chronic conditions or diabetes themselves and conduct workshops using the prepared curriculum. They complete a training program where they are mentored by master trainers. An essential element to the workshops is that they are held in community-based settings, such as senior centers, faith-based organizations and libraries, with most led by certified and trained lay leaders rather than medical professionals.

The upcoming Lay Leader Training will take place in Portsmouth May 16, 17, 18 and 23 for the CDSMP, and May 24 and 25 for DSMP. The training will take place from 9 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. each day at the Southern Ohio Medical Center East Campus, 2201 25th St., Portsmouth. Those interested must attend all six days in order to be certified to lead the programs. Attendees will be provided with in-depth information needed to conduct the workshops and receive the materials at no cost. As all workshops are designed to be facilitated by two trainers, it is strongly suggested that you bring someone with you that you prefer to lead the classes with you.

A prescreening is required of all applicants who express an interest in serving as a lay leader. For more information about registering, call Carla Cox at 1-800-528-7277, ext. 22284, or Breanna Williams at ext. 22247 no later than May 11.

Submitted by Jenni Dovyak-Lewis, director of community outreach and training, Area Agency on Aging District 7, Inc.

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