Workshop aims to improve the health of older adults

LIHUE – A program that has had a positive effect on the lives of many Kaua’i kupuna is being offered once again by the Agency on Elderly Affairs.

Designed to help seniors with chronic conditions to better manage their symptoms and improve their overall health, the Better Choices Better Health workshop series is scheduled to begin on Jan. 23.

The six-week series will be held on Thursdays from 9 to 11:30 a.m. at the Lihue Civic Center, Piikoi Building, conference room A.

Participants must pre-register at least a day before the start of the workshop.

“Since we started offering the BCBH workshops four years ago, many seniors have benefitted from this program,” said Executive on Aging Kealoha Takahashi. “I encourage everyone who would like to improve their health to sign up for the workshop.”

The cost for all six sessions is $12 for seniors 60 years and older and their caregivers. It includes a book titled “Living a Healthy Life with Chronic Conditions” and a relaxation CD.

If space is available, anyone 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.

Participants will meet in small groups of 12 to16 and make weekly action plans, share experiences, and help each other solve the challenges they encounter with skills and techniques learned in the workshop.

Among the topics that will be covered are:

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

n Appropriate exercise for maintaining and improving strength and endurance.

n Healthy eating.

n Appropriate use of medications.

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

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 program does not conflict with existing health programs or treatments.

The workshop series is sponsored by Kaua’i’s Healthy Aging Partnership, which includes the following organizations: 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 the state Executive Office on Aging and the County of Kaua’i.

Info: www.kauaiadrc.org

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