Senior center offering free course 'Be Well Live Well'

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

BERRYVILLE -- The Area Agency on Aging of Northwest Arkansas is offering the "Be Well Live Well" workshop, which will take place on Tuesday, Feb. 5 from 9 to 11:30 a.m. and continue for the next five Tuesdays at this same time.

This workshop will be held at the Carroll County Senior Activity Center located at 202 W. Madison Ave. in Berryville. Call the center at 870-423-2796 to register for this free, informative six-week course. The class size is limited to 16 people.

People with chronic illnesses may never know life without their disease. With the help of this new class though, they can experience living by managing their symptoms and live more fully.

The workshop, developed by Stanford University, is open to any senior adult age 60 or older with conditions that aren't likely to go away, such as diabetes, arthritis, asthma, cancer, COPD, congestive heart failure, chronic fatigue syndrome, depression, emphysema, fibromyalgia, lung disease, obesity, Parkinson's, stroke, heart disease, asthma, multiple sclerosis, and more.

"One of the main elements of the course is the support of other people," said Angie Dunlap, Be Well Live Well program director. "The first thing we do is to talk about what problems we are facing. Even though there are different illnesses, many of the concerns are the same, like anger, fear and frustration."

The class incorporates relaxation activities, lots of conversation and making action plans.

A few topics that the course covers include: managing fatigue, learn how to eat healthier, deal with anger, depression and other negative responses, develop and maintain long-term exercise programs, develop decision-making and problem-solving skills, communicating with family, friends, and physicians.

Each week participants make an action plan -- a specific, realistic goal that they want to achieve. It could be as simple as reading a book every night or walking every week, but the important thing is that people try.

Members of the class also learn that they are not alone in feeling all types of emotions. Participants share their fears and problems and then get feedback on how they might deal with them. Participants learn skills to manage their diseases and work effectively with their health care professionals.

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