The Chronic Disease Self-Management Education (CDSME) program was created to help ensure that people with chronic diseases, especially the elderly, are able to life full, independent lives.
CDSME is an evidence-based program designed by Stanford University to educate adults on managing chronic conditions such as diabetes, arthritis, chronic pain and heart disease. The main goal is to give these individuals the confidence and skills to actively manage their health care while reducing unnecessary visits to hospital or clinics.
CDSME is offered nationally and internationally. In Virginia, it is known as “You Can! Live Well, Virginia!”. The Valley Program for Aging Services (VPAS) offers free CDSME workshops in Harrisonburg-Rockingham, Staunton-Waynesboro-Augusta, Buena Vista-Lexington-Rockbridge and Bath-Highland at senior centers, community centers and other locations that are easily accessible. Offered once a week for six weeks, each session is two and a half hours long (with breaks).
These workshops teach the participants how to:
- Manage pain and fatigue
- Eat well and exercise better
- Choose the right treatment for their condition
- Solve problems
- Talk to family and healthcare professionals about their health
But no two diseases are the same, which is why there are three different workshops offered by VPAS:
- Chronic Disease Self-Management Program (CDSMP)
- Diabetes Self-Management Program (DSMP)
- Tomando Control de su Salud (Spanish CDSMP)
They also offer an online workshop for Arthritis. This program was created in conjunction with the NCOA and the Arthritis Foundation. You can find more information about it here.
In order to create an open environment and ensure that every participant receives the one-on-one time they need, workshops are restricted to between 10 and 16 participants. Two trained volunteers, one or both of whom are non-health professionals with a chronic diseases themselves, lead the workshop, teaching and helping to improve skills related to:
- fatigue management
- better breathing
- healthy eating
- medication usage
- positive thinking
- effective communication with health care provider
- and other useful techniques.
As an added benefit, participants meet others in their position, developing a community and a support group that will continue long after the workshop is complete. Participants also receive the book Living a Healthy Life with Chronic Conditions to supplement the information from the workshop.
The programs have received rave reviews. The November 2013 Newsletter from the CDSME featured a few:
“Below are excerpts from comments made by recent workshop and leader training participants – sort of a CDSME gratitude journal of accomplishments.
- awakened to the value of meditation and healthy eating
- used distraction techniques to make it through exercise
- increased awareness of the role of chronic disease
- better understanding of the importance of positive thinking
- developed a bigger focus and motivation to apply tools to own life
- got over fear of using glucose monitor
- courage to know my condition is controllable and some symptoms could be reversible
- as a caregiver my whole mindset has been expanded
- knowing I am not alone
- learning about the symptom cycle is very valuable
- stress management and communicating with others is really related to managing health
- overcoming fear of weight bearing exercises – I can do more than I thought I could
- this workshop was a recharging and provided motivation to do things I already knew but did not do
- I take a lot of classes that take away from my time – but I feel like this class was for me. It reinforced some of my beliefs and I have gotten more out of this than I have for years
- Life gets away – this gets me back on track!”
Read the full newsletter here.
Joyce Nussbaum is the Chronic Disease Self-Management Education Coordinator at VPAS. For more information about upcoming workshops, click here to view a list of current workshops or contact Joyce Nussbaum at email@example.com or 540-820-8567.
Know someone who worries about their elderly parent in Charlottesville, Staunton, or Harrisonburg Virginia? Care is There Geriatric Care Management can help! Have them contact us for a free consultation: 434.326.5323 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Elizabeth Swider, Geriatric Care Manager, Certified Senior Advisor
President, Care is There Geriatric Care Management
Support for independent living and long distance caregiving; assisted living enhancement