Leaders needed for chronic disease, diabetes programs


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Interested in being trained to help your community better manage its chronic disease or diabetes conditions?

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 Hillsboro beginning Aug. 15 for those individuals 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 these six-session 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 Hillsboro on Aug. 15th, 16, 17 and 22 for the CDSMP, and Aug. 23 and 24 for DSMP. The training will take place from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. each day at The Laurels of Hillsboro, 175 Chillicothe Ave. Those who are 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 for the training, call Carla Cox at 1-800-528-7277, ext. 284, or Breanna Williams at ext. 247 no later than Aug. 11.

Your local Area Agency on Aging District 7, Inc. provides services on a non-discriminatory basis. These services are available to help older adults and those with disabilities live safely and independently in their own homes through services paid for by Medicare, Medicaid, other federal and state resources, as well as private pay. The AAA7’s Resource Center is also available to anyone in the community looking for information or assistance with long-term care options. Available Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., the Resource Center is a valuable contact for learning more about options and what programs and services are available for assistance.

Those interested in learning more can call toll-free at 1-800-582-7277 (TTY: 711). Individuals can speak directly with a nurse or social worker who will assist them with information surrounding the programs and services that are available to best serve their needs. The agency also offers an in-home assessment at no cost for those who are interested in learning more. Information is also available on www.aaa7.org, or the agency can be contacted through e-mail at [email protected] The agency also has a Facebook page located at www.facebook.com/AreaAgencyOnAgingDistrict7.

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

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