I just completed a training course to become certified as a lay leader of an evidence-based Living Well program called the Chronic Disease Self-Management Program (CDSMP). This program was developed by the School of Medicine at Stanford University to provide people living with chronic conditions tools and strategies to improve their quality of life.
The Centers for Disease Control conducted a review of research studies that examined the effectiveness of this program. After reviewing the results for thousands of participants, they concluded that the CDSMP workshop contributes to improvements in psychological health, physical activity, and overall self-reported health. The CDC found that after taking the workshop, participants had fewer inpatient days and tended to have fewer outpatient visits. By sustaining the new behaviors they learn, these shifts could have a substantial effect on their health-related quality of life.
The lay leader training I completed was conducted by Lynne Reeves and Ramona Hambrick in Rome, Georgia. They provided a demanding yet impactful training class that not only prepared us to present the material, but engaged us in activities to help us better understand what participants would experience. We worked through the variety of techniques including brainstorming, problem solving, and making action plans. We also practiced facilitating workshop sessions and handling challenging situations.
So now, in addition to my own workshops, I am joining some 10,000 other certified lay leaders across the country in providing a proven delivery system that gives participants tools to help them take charge of their health.
This Living Well program offers tools to help deal with fatigue, poor sleep, difficult emotions, pain and other symptoms. The program is presented in 2 and 1/2-hour sessions given once a week for six weeks in community settings such as senior centers, libraries, and hospitals. Organizations across the country and around the world have been licensed to offer the program, and I will be presenting it for the Northwest Georgia Regional Commission’s Area Agency on Aging. To find where the CDSMP workshop is offered near you, click here and then select your state or country.
I am honored to serve as a volunteer Living Well program leader and look forward to engaging individuals in the rich, highly interactive sessions. This is just one more way to age well, and I’m all for that!