Last updated: July 25. 2013 11:24AM - 387 Views
By - tallen@civitasmedia.com - 740-353-3101

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Interested in being trained to help your community better manage their chronic disease conditions? The Area Agency on Aging District 7 (AAA7) is looking for community leaders to assist with facilitating its Chronic Disease Self-Management Class. 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 Wheelersburg in June for those individuals who are interested in serving as a lay leader in their community. Currently, the AAA7 is recruiting volunteer leaders for the following counties: Adams, Jackson, Lawrence, Pike and Scioto.

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

CDSMP is a six-session workshop that meets 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.

In 2010, the Ohio Department of Aging, in partnership with the Ohio Department of Health, received $1 million in grant funding through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) to expand CDSMP statewide. Ohio’s 12 area agencies on aging, local health districts, community organizations, and local partners implement the programs in local communities in an effort to reach more Ohioans.

To expand these evidence-based programs, the AAA7 is looking for individuals to become trained lay leaders. Lay leaders are volunteers who typically have chronic conditions 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 Wheelersburg, Ohio, on June 18, 19, 25 and 26 from 9:00 am until 5:00 pm each day. Those who are interested must attend all four days. Attendees will be provided with in-depth information needed to conduct the workshops and receive the materials at no cost. More information about the specific location of each class day will be given when interested individuals call to register.

Anyone interested in CDSMP either as a participant or volunteer workshop leader, should contact the local Area Agency on Aging District 7, Inc. by calling Vicki Woyan at 1-800-582-7277, extension 215. A pre-screening is required of all applicants who express an interest in serving as a lay leader. Registration deadline for the Lay Leader Training is Monday, June 10th.

The Area Agency on Aging District 7 (AAA7) is a non-profit corporation that helps coordinate programs to help older adults and those with disabilities live safely and independently at home or in their community through long-term care home and community-based options. The AAA7 covers ten counties in southern Ohio including Adams, Brown, Gallia, Highland, Jackson, Lawrence, Pike, Ross, Scioto and Vinton.

Services, provided directly through the AAA7, or through contracted community providers include, but are not limited to: information, referral and assistance; personal care and homemaking; respite care; adult day care; assisted living; caregiver support; case management; home repair; transportation; home-delivered meals; community-center meal programs; and linkage to community services. Depending upon eligibility, income and other factors, services can be paid for by Medicare, Medicaid, other federal and state resources, as well as private pay. Through a phone call and in-home consultation at no-cost to you, a specially-trained AAA7 nurse or social worker can engage in an in-depth conversation to help determine the needs of the individual and what programs and services are available in the community to best support their health, safety and well-being.

The AAA7’s Aging and Disability Resource Center (ADRC) is available to help provide assistance and answers to any questions the community may have regarding long-term care options and resources. The community can call Monday through Friday from 8:00 am until 4:30 pm to speak directly to a nurse or social worker who will help answer any questions the caller may have.

Those interested in learning more can call toll-free at 1-800-582-7277 (TTY: 711) or e-mail at info@aaa7.org. The Agency also has a Facebook page located at www.facebook.com/AreaAgencyOnAgingDistrict7.

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