When people encounter health problems, they often put life on hold until things can get “back to normal”. During this time, they may stop doing the things they enjoy and stop being physically active because they may no longer be able to do things “as they used to”.
This may have been okay at first, but when their health continues month after month or year after year, people feel isolated from family and friends.
Some may even experience symptoms of depression in addition to the everyday symptoms of their health condition.
There can be many challenging emotions such as anger, frustration, or guilt, and many mourn the loss of things they “used to do”.
There are courses available to help you cope with chronic problems throughout the day, to help people get back to their daily lives. The course provides people with tools to help them live their lives despite their chronic health problems.
While things may not have been the way they were in the past, people are surprised to see what they can still achieve after making a few simple changes, said Rebbi Burdett, RN, self-management program coordinator at Intermountain Healthcare.
The Intermountain Living Well Self-Management Programs are evidence-based programs originally developed by Stanford University that have been shown to improve self-efficacy, life satisfaction and resourcefulness, Burdett said.
Not only can the person with the chronic / long-term illness take part in the courses, but also their family member or a supportive person.
The Intermountain programs include: Good Living with Chronic Illnesses, Good Living with Chronic Pain, Good Living with Diabetes.
All courses are made available to the community for free, are available in Spanish, and are accessible in a variety of ways. The sessions are mainly taught online in live virtual classrooms or via conference calls. Face-to-face teaching has also returned.
“In class, we not only introduce new ways to manage everyday symptoms, but we also create a safe, inclusive environment for people to try out these new techniques,” said Burdett. “Classes give people the opportunity to interact with other people who have similar symptoms and face similar barriers. We found that the challenges and everyday symptoms they face are quite similar, even though people may not have the same chronic health status. ”
The Living Well with Chronic Conditions is a great base class for any type of long-term health condition. This can include high blood pressure, depression and anxiety, arthritis, and really any type of condition that is long and persistent.
Classes are led by two moderators, one of whom suffers from chronic diseases. You can get support and encouragement through group interactions.
A good life with chronic pain is for people with all types of long-term pain conditions. People with low back pain, fibromyalgia, chronic headaches, and migraines are just a few of the pain problems that people with these problems can benefit from registering.
During the 6-week program you will learn:
- Learn how Decision-making and problem-solving skills can help you adapt and adapt
- Understand how Read food labels and change eating habits
- Practice skills like open communication and dealing with difficult emotions
- Learn breathing exercises and other physical activities that may improve symptoms
Self-management tools are becoming a fundamental element of many integrated models of care for various types of health conditions, such as chronic pain and diabetes. Providing these free courses makes this type of care more accessible to all populations.
The courses can be attended not only by the person with the chronic / long-term illness, but also by their family members or companions. Attending classes together is encouraged as this provides an opportunity for dialogue on specific topics that are often challenging. But individual visitors are also welcome at any time.
“When you come to class, people can support and assist others, and provide tips and advice on things they have found useful,” said Burdett. “Many participants said that the sense of community and belonging they felt in the group gave them hope for the future. It let them know they weren’t alone.
Virtual courses are a great option for those who are tech savvy and have access to a smart device with a webcam. However, phone options are good for those unfamiliar with the technology or who don’t have access to reliable internet or a smart device with a webcam.
Courses are available at www.LivingWell.Utah.gov or by phone at 801-442-5544.
This story contains sponsored content.