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SOWEGA to host chronic disease management workshop

ALBANY, Ga. — Assistance is soon coming to those who hope to learn how to help themselves, and others, manage their health, stay active and take charge of their chronic conditions.

The SOWEGA Council on Aging is hosting a six-week chronic disease self-management workshop at its senior center at 311 Pine Ave. beginning April 17.

The workshop will be held every Tuesday through May 22 from 1:30 p.m.-4 p.m.

Officials say the workshop is designed for individuals to learn how to manage their chronic diseases as well as help others manage theirs. No previous health care experience is necessary, but coordinators are asking those who register commit to attending every session.

During the course of the workshop, participants will receive a copy of the companion book “Living a Healthy Life with Chronic Conditions” as well as a CD entitled “Time for Healing.”

"We will go completely by the book," said Angelika Smith, an instructor of the class. "We have not had any sessions on this at all before."

While the council has done sessions on specific chronic conditions in the past, including diabetes and arthritis, the upcoming workshop will be a broad overview of chronic disease management, Smith said.

"We will identify common elements, causes and symptoms," Smith said. "We will also go over self-management techniques. We will introduce an action plan as a key to self-management.

"There are so many people here (who) have chronic illnesses. We thought there was a need to teach how to self-manage. It helps with doctor visits as well as pain (management)."

Management of pain alone will play a big part in the workshop, Smith said.

"(Chronic disease management) is very important for people, especially when they are older," she said. "As we get older, there are not a lot of people that don't have (a chronic illness). This can teach you to relax and go into positive thinking, and come out knowing how to handle your disease."

Class size is limited to 16 people, but those who do not get in this time around will have another chance. Smith said that SOWEGA is planning to host another workshop on the same subject in August.

As of Friday morning, there were six people signed up for the class, officials with SOWEGA say.

There is no cost to participate. Those interested in participating are encouraged to register by calling (229) 432-1131.