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Managing Disability-Related Condition

image of a man in a wheelchair lifting arm weightsAre you are one of the millions of adults in the United States who lives with a disability? If so, you can learn how to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Through a self-management education (SME) program you can do the things you want to do and live a healthier life.                

Disability-Specific SME Programs

14 Weeks to a Healthier You

Cost: Free.
Format: Online.

14 Weeks to a Healthier You is a free, online wellness program for anyone with a chronic health condition, physical disability, or mobility limitations. It can help you eat healthier and maintain a more active lifestyle. All goals, warm-up activities, exercises, and motivational resources are used at your own pace.

The program includes:

  • Personalized exercises and physical activity tips.
  • Healthy eating.
  • Tracking physical activity and diet.
  • Opportunities to connect with other participants.
  • Access to 14-week coaches.

Visit the NCHPAD website to learn more about 14 Weeks to a Healthier You.

Promoting Amputee Life Skills (PALS)

Cost: Free.
Format: Online.

Promoting Amputee Life Skills (PALS) is a 6-week interactive online program that helps amputees improve the quality of their lives. The PALS program helps you learn ways to manage pain, emotions, relationships, and overall health. It provides an opportunity to build these skills in a group setting to help you discover individual strengths.

Subjects include:

  • Learning self-management skills.
  • Managing your health and physical activity.
  • Managing emotions.
  • Communicating effectively with family and friends and maintaining relationships in difficult situations.
  • Identifying the warning signs of setbacks and learning skills to help you to overcome some of these barriers.

Visit the PALS website to learn more about  Promoting Amputee Life Skills (PALS).

Living Well with A Disability

Cost: Varies by organization.
Format: In person, in the community.

Living Well with a Disability is a 10-week interactive program for people with physical disabilities. The program is based on the best available scientific information and is designed to help participants learn the life skills necessary to set and achieve quality-of-life goals. Programs consist of peer-led health promotion workshops provided by organizations that serve people with disabilities. The Rural Institute at the University of Montana provides training and certification for Centers for Independent Living (CILs) and other organizations to conduct the workshops.

Subjects include:

  • Goal setting.
  • Problem-solving.
  • Maintaining a positive outlook.
  • Managing depression.
  • Physical activity.
  • Eating well to live well.
  • Healthy communication.
  • Information seeking and advocacy.
  • Maintaining positive changes.

Visit the Living Well website to learn more about Living Well with a Disability.

General Chronic Disease SME Programs

In addition to the disability-related programs above, the SME programs that follow are for people with any chronic health condition; including disability-related conditions.

Chronic Disease Self-Management Program

Cost: Varies by organization, rarely more than $50.
Format: In-person workshop.

The Chronic Disease Self-Management Program is a 6-week interactive workshop for people with all types of chronic conditions. This course, developed by Stanford University, can help people with one or more chronic conditions learn the strategies to manage your condition and have the confidence to carry them out. This interactive workshop meets for 2.5 hours per week for 6 weeks in convenient community locations. It is led by trained leaders, at least one of whom has a chronic condition. This workshop is known by a variety of different names, including Living Well. It also is available in Spanish.

Subjects covered include:

  • Techniques to deal with problems such as frustration, fatigue, pain and isolation.
  • Appropriate exercise for maintaining and improving strength, flexibility, and endurance.
  • Appropriate use of medications.
  • Communicating effectively with family, friends, and health professionals.
  • Managing depression.
  • Better breathing techniques.
  • Relaxation techniques.
  • Healthy eating habits.
  • Making good decisions about your health.
  • How to evaluate new treatments.

Visit the Stanford website to learn more about the Chronic Disease Self-Management Program.Locate organizations licensed to offer the program in your area on the Evidence-Based Leadership Council website.

Chronic Disease Self-Management Program: Tool Kit for Active Living

Cost: $43.96.
Format: Self-study toolkit.

The Chronic Disease Self-Management Program Tool Kit for Active Living provides much of the same information as the Chronic Disease Self-Management Program (CDSMP) in a self-study format that you can receive by mail. The tool kit helps you construct your own self management plan to deal with your chronic condition(s) through exercise, and strategies to reduce stress, fatigue, pain and other symptoms. It encourages goal setting, action planning, and thinking and acting proactively. You can work through the toolkit at your own pace, focusing on areas most important to you. Also available in Spanish.

The self-study kit includes:

  • The workbook Living a Healthy Life with Chronic Conditions.
  • Information Sheets briefly describing common problems and helpful solutions.
  • A self-test that helps you identify elements and set priorities for a personal self-management plan.
  • Action Plan description with instruction and examples for developing unique plan.
  • Exercise Action Plan with hints and instruction on use of the other exercise and activity materials, Relaxation CD and Exercise CD.

Visit the Stanford website to learn more about the Chronic Disease Self-Management Program: Tool Kit for Active Living.

Tomando Control de su Salud

Cost: Varies by organization, rarely more than $50.
Format: In-person workshop.

This course, developed by Stanford University, is a 6-week interactive workshop for Spanish speaking adults with all types of chronic conditions. If you have one or more chronic condition, this program can help you learn the strategies and skills to manage your health and your condition(s) more effectively and live your everyday life. All the workshop sessions are held in Spanish. It is very similar to the Chronic Disease Self-Management Program (CDSMP), but was developed to be culturally appropriate for Spanish speaking adults. Workshop sessions are held for 2.5 hours per week for 6 weeks at convenient community locations.

Topics include:

  • Techniques to deal with problems such as frustration, fatigue, pain and isolation.
  • Appropriate exercise for maintaining and improving strength, flexibility, and endurance.
  • Managing depression.
  • Appropriate use of medications.
  • Communicating effectively with family, friends, and health professionals.
  • Healthy eating habits.
  • Better breathing techniques.
  • Relaxation techniques.
  • Appropriate use of the health care system.
  • Making good decisions about your health.
  • How to evaluate new treatments.

Visit the Stanford website to learn more about the Tomando Control de su Salud.Locate organizations licensed to offer the program in your area on the Evidence-Based Leadership Council website.

Learn More about Disability

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