Chronic Disease Self-Management Education (CDSME) is designed to empower adults to better manage their chronic conditions such as diabetes, arthritis, chronic pain and heart disease with the goal of giving individuals confidence and skills to allow them to actively manage their health care and reduce unnecessary visits to the Emergency Department or the physician(s).
CDSME program teaches seniors how to manage their lives
Joanna Sullivan likens the experience of going to her first Chronic Disease Self-Management Education class to going to an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting.
“I’m not an alcoholic. Don’t drink at all, actually. But from what I know of AA meetings, it’s very similar. Everybody was sharing their problems and what was going on in their lives, what was helpful, what wasn’t helpful. There was an interesting group dynamic that I thought was helpful,” said Sullivan, who credits the CDSME program offered by Valley Program for Aging Services with helping her get her life back under control.
“As a result of the class, I visited a doctor, and I’m now in physical therapy to restore my confidence in walking without fear of falling and to align my body and improve my posture. I’ve been at that now since November, three times a week for two hours at a time,” said Sullivan, who lives in Grottoes.
“The class was very beneficial. The teachers were easy to talk to and eager to help. They made themselves available to answer questions by phone,” Sullivan said.
“I’m 81 years old, and I look forward to each new day,” Sullivan said.