Tricounty News

Living Well with Chronic Conditions

For most of her adult life, Doris didn't worry much about her health. Then at 67, she was diagnosed with diabetes and high blood pressure. She tried to follow her doctor's advice to take her medications, exercise, and eat better. But often she was tired and even a little depressed. "I figured it was just part of getting older," she recalls.

Then a friend told Doris about the Living Well with Chronic Conditions Workshop, six weekly sessions offered by Catholic Charities of the Diocese of St. Cloud. Developed at Stanford University, the Workshop has been offered at hundreds of locations throughout the United States. It helps participants with ongoing health conditions such as arthritis, diabetes, high blood pressure, anxiety, heart disease, and others to:

¥ Find better ways of dealing with pain and fatigue

¥ Discover easy exercises to help improve or maintain strength and energy

¥ Learn the appropriate use of medications

¥ Improve nutrition

¥ Talk effectively with family, friends and health professionals

¥ Understand new treatment choices

¥ Feel better about life

"I now have a new sense of being in control," said Doris, "The Workshop has really helped me put life back in my life."

Taught by specially trained volunteer leaders, some who have health conditions themselves, the program covers a new topic each week and provides opportunities for interaction and group problem solving. "We are really more like coaches," says Mary Simpler, Catholic Charities Health Promotions Specialist, "The answer to someone's question is usually in the room."

The next workshop begins Tuesday, April 19, and will take place every Tuesday from 2-4:30 p.m. for six weeks at the senior dining site at St. Anne's Church.

For more information, or to enroll in the Living Well with Chronic Conditions Workshop, call the Mary Simpler at (320) 229-4591 or Rosalea Hoeft at (320) 398-2211 ext.13.