Senior workshops encourage healthy aging

LIHU‘E — The Agency on Elderly Affairs has scheduled another round of the popular workshop series for older adults titled “Better Choices, Better Health” (BCBH).

“Many Kaua‘i kupuna have benefitted from this program since we started offering it four years ago,” said Kealoha Takahashi, Kaua‘i County Executive on Aging. “I encourage everyone who would like to improve their health to sign up for the workshop.”

Designed and tested at Stanford University, the workshop series aims to improve the health of older adults by empowering and teaching them how to better manage their chronic conditions and to work towards achieving personal health goals.

Two types of BCBH workshops are being offered:

• Chronic Disease Self-Management Program (CDSMP), for those who are experiencing a chronic illness or condition and their caregivers. This workshop is being offered this summer.

• Diabetes Self-Management, for those with diabetes and their caregivers. This workshop is being offered this September, dates and location to be announced.

Dates, times, and locations of the CDSMP workshops are:

Thursdays from 1 p.m.-3:30 p.m., beginning on May 31, at the Church of the Pacific Community Hall, 5-4280 Kuhi’o Highway, Princeville.

Fridays from 1 p.m.-3:30 p.m., beginning on June 1, at the Regency at Puakea Private Dining Hall, 2130 Kaneka Street, Lihue.

Wednesdays from 1 p.m.-3:30 p.m., beginning on June 6, at the Kauai Care Center Conference Room, 9611 Waena Rd., Waimea.

Participants will meet in small groups of 12 to16 for 2 1/2 hours each week for six weeks. They will make weekly action plans, share experiences, and help each other solve the challenges they encounter with creating and carrying out their individual self-management programs.

The program does not conflict with existing health programs or treatments.

Among the topics that will be covered in the workshops are:

• Techniques for dealing with fatigue and pain, stress, and emotional issues such as depression, anger, fear and frustration.

• Appropriate exercise for maintaining and improving strength and endurance.

• Healthy eating.

• Appropriate use of medications.

• How to communicate effectively with family, friends and health care professionals.  

The cost of the entire 6-week workshop is $12 for seniors 60 years and older and their caregivers, and it includes a book titled “Living a Healthy Life with Chronic Conditions” and a relaxation CD.

If space is available, people younger than 60 years will be able to attend the workshops for a $40 fee.

Registration is limited to 16 participants and their caregivers. Scholarships are available.

To gain maximum benefit from the program, participants should plan on attending all six sessions.

The Better Choices Better Health workshop series is based on Stanford University’s highly successful Chronic Disease Self-Management Program, which has been implemented nationally and internationally.

The workshops are sponsored by Kaua‘i’s Healthy Aging Partnership, which includes the following organizations: Agape Health Services; Agency on Elderly Affairs; Department of Parks and Recreation; Dr. Arnulfo Diaz; Kaua‘i Community College; Kaua‘i District Health Office; and Kaua‘i Economic Opportunity, Inc.

Funding for the program is provided by: Administration on Aging through the State Executive Office on Aging; County of Kaua‘i; Kaua‘i Filipino Chamber of Commerce; and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Communities Putting Prevention to Work – Hawai‘i.

In addition to the above workshops, more CDSMP and a Diabetes Self-Management workshop will begin in September at several sites around Kaua‘i, dates and locations to be announced.

Preregistration is required. To register for the workshops or to request materials in an alternate format or an auxiliary aid for the workshops, please contact Charlyn at the Agency on Elderly Affairs at 241-4470 at least five business days before the start of the workshops. Let her know which workshop you are signing up for.

For more information about the BCBH workshops, please visit the Agency on Elderly Affairs website, www.kauaiadrc.org, or call Charlyn at 241-4470.

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