Manage your chronic disease

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT)-Those suffering from chronic disease are being offered some added help.

A Chronic Disease Self Management course is taking place July 12th in Walnut Ridge at the Main Street Church of Christ Annex Building.

This class is being hosted by the East Arkansas Area Agency on Aging.

Lifestyle Specialist with the East Arkansas Area Agency on Aging, Nathan Gann, says chronic disease is a common problem in the Region 8 area.

"Chronic disease is a very big problem in this area with the elderly," Gann said. "this class is not just talking about your chronic disease. It's talking about your symptoms and what you can do to alleviate them and also how to better manage them."

Gann says they go over the problems with each person individually.

"What we do with this class is go in and actually ask them what their chronic disease is," Gann said. "We come up with different ways of dealing with the pain, dealing with the symptoms. We go over healthier eating specifically for your chronic disease. We also teach them different ways to communicate with their doctor and the doctor's staff that they have to deal with. The insurance companies, we even give them tips on what to do when preparing for after life events."

Gann says there are a number of misconceptions surrounding the issues of chronic disease they work to correct with those who attend the class.

"The living will is a big one people don't seem to understand," Gann said. "Medication use can also be a problem with that. Also, knowing that exercise doesn't make the problem worse it actually improves it. And knowing how to listen to your body and know the side effects of your medicine and things of that nature."

Gann says it's important for people to come out and listen to what they have to say.

"This class is to help you to better understand your diseases," Gann said. "To better understand the conditions you have and also get tips that you don't know about to help you in alleviating those symptoms because if we can alleviate your symptoms and solve a lot of those problems, then you can cut down on you medical cost. You can cut down on the trips to the doctor, in general and you can live a better, healthier life."

They will be meeting every Thursday at 9:30 in the morning for the next six weeks.

For more information about East Arkansas Area Agency on Aging, log onto this website.

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