Wellness Program Offers Proactive Tips for Health Challenges

Chronic conditions often have life-changing side effects, but Somerville-Cambridge Elder Services (SCES) is offering a free workshop with coping strategies that can help.

Titled “My Life, My Health,” the six-part workshop provides tools for proactively managing the challenges of a chronic condition, explained program coordinator Eliza Wiesner.

“Chronic conditions often require major adjustments in our lives, and that can make people feel hopeless- or like the diagnosis is taking over their life,” said Wiesner. “The idea behind this group is empowering people to actively manage their symptoms.”

metaphor illustrating on the road the wellness and good health

The workshop is based on the findings of the Chronic Disease Self-Management Program, which was developed by researchers at the Stanford University Medical Center. Wiesner, who coordinates Health and Wellness programs at SCES, said the curriculum offers guidance on handling stress, making treatment choices, and simple techniques that can improve quality of life.

“One of the biggest skills the class teaches is action planning,” said Wiesner. “Often when people have chronic diseases they start to think they can’t do the things they used to—it all seems too difficult to achieve. The idea here is setting realistic and concrete goals that may build toward something larger.”

The workshop is open to adults with chronic conditions, their caregivers, or people who live with somebody who has a persistent health condition.

Workshop participants receive a copy of the book “Living a Healthy Life with Chronic Conditions,” and a relaxation CD. Those who complete the workshop also receive a $25 Market Basket gift card.

My Life, My Health will meet from 10-12:30 on Dec. 14, 21, 28 and Jan. 4, 11, and 18 at the Miller’s River Apartments, (15 Lambert St.) in Cambridge.

Class size is limited. To register, email Wiesner at ewiesner@eldercare.org or call 617-628-2601 ext. 3108.

About SCES: Established in 1972, Somerville-Cambridge Elder Services is a private, non-profit agency dedicated to improving the quality of life and maintaining the dignity and independence of older people in Somerville and Cambridge. For more information visit eldercare.org or follow SCES on Facebook and Twitter.