Chronic disease self-management

Michelle Caserta

March 19, 2014

As you may know, Easter Seals Adult Day Services Piqua helps individuals maintain independence and live in their community for as long as possible. In order to help individuals do this, Randi Simon-Serey and I took a four day training workshop to become certified trainers in the Chronic Disease Self-Management Program (CDSMP) here in Piqua and Miami County.

Every day, according to the National Council on Aging (NCOA) millions of people with chronic conditions struggle to manage their symptoms.

  • Nearly 92 percent of older adults have at least one chronic condition, and 77 percent have at least two
  • Four chronic conditions - heart disease, cancer, stroke, and diabetes - cause almost two thirds of all deaths each year
  • Diabetes affects 12.2 million Americans age 60+, or 23 percent of the older population
  • An additional 57 million Americans age 20+ have pre-diabetes, which increases their risk of developing Type 2 diabetes, heart disease and stroke
  • 90 percent of Americans age 55+ are at risk for hypertension, or high blood pressure
  • 77 percent of women aged 75+ have this condition, as do 64 percent of men aged 75+

The traditional medical model of caring for people with chronic conditions, which focuses more on the illness than on the patient, is expensive and often ineffective.

  • Chronic diseases account for 75 percent of the money our nation spends on health care, yet only 1 percent of health dollars are spent on public efforts to improve overall health
  • In 2009, direct care expenditures for chronic conditions in the United States totaled more than $262 billion

Addressing chronic conditions requires new strategies to delay health deterioration, improve function and address the problems that people confront in their day-to-day lives.

NCOA and Stanford have collaborated for nearly a decade to distribute proven programs in-person and online that empower individuals with chronic conditions to manage their own care and improve their quality of life.

Probably the best known and most highly regarded self-management program for people with chronic conditions is Stanford’s Chronic Disease Self-Management Program (CDSMP). Through a partnership with the U.S. Administration for Community Living, NCOA promotes CDSMP through community-based workshops. CDSMP is also supported in communities by grants from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The Chronic Disease Self-Management Program helps individuals with chronic conditions learn how to manage and improve their own health, while reducing health care costs. The program focuses on problems that are common to individuals dealing with any chronic condition, such as pain management, nutrition, exercise, medication use, emotions and communicating with doctors.

Led by a pair of trained facilitators, one or both of whom have a chronic condition themselves, workshops cover 15 hours of material over a six-week period. During the program, approximately 10-15 participants focus on building the skills they need to manage their conditions by sharing experiences and providing mutual support.

Based on a review of major published studies, CDSMP results in significant, measurable improvements in the health and quality of life of people with chronic conditions. CDSMP also appears to save enough through reductions in health care expenditures to pay for itself within the first year.

How does could this training benefit you? Ask yourself these questions:

  • Do you live with long-term health conditions such as arthritis, diabetes, lung disease, high blood pressure, heart disease, cancer, chronic pain, anxiety, depression and more;
  • Do you feel limited in your daily activities;
  • Do you feel tired, alone or stressed by health problems; or
  • Are you looking for better ways to manage your symptoms?

If you or anyone you know can answer yes to any of the above questions, then a Chronic Disease Self-Management Program could be just what you need to start managing your own illnesses. Please take the time now to pick up the phone and call Easter Seals Adult Day Services and learn about the benefits of this 6-week program.

Remember, at Easter Seals Adult Day Services Piqua, we try to make every month special, promoting the health, happiness, independence, and security of your loved ones. For more information or to schedule a visit, please call 778-3680.

Michelle Caserta is the Program Coordinator II for Easter Seals Adult Day Services Piqua