Learning to live: New class offers knowledge and support for those living with chronic health issues
WORTHINGTON -- Summer is coming to a close, which means colder weather is ahead. For some that means sweaters and apple cider, but for others the colder weather may mean pain and aches in their joints and muscles. So two Worthington organizations, A.
WORTHINGTON - Summer is coming to a close, which means colder weather is ahead.
For some that means sweaters and apple cider, but for others the colder weather may mean pain and aches in their joints and muscles.
So two Worthington organizations, A.C.E. of Southwest Minnesota and the Center for Active Living (CAL), are teaming up to offer a customized six-week workshop called “Better Choices, Better Life.”
Joanne Bartosh, coordinator of Nobles County’s A.C.E. of Southwest Minnesota, said the workshop is for anyone who is living with chronic health issues including weight management, diabetes, heart disease, arthritis, cancer, lung disease, high blood pressure, multiple sclerosis and mental health issues.
“It’s a group discussiontype class,” Bartosh said. “The class members actually reach out to another and help each other. When you get people together who are battling the same type of things with health … they gain knowledge and teach each other.”
The workshop was created by Kate Lorig, director of the Stanford Patient Education Research Center and professor of medicine in the Stanford School of Medicine.
“Better Choices, Better Life” is an evidence-based program, which means research has shown that the workshop produces the results wanted.
“Nothing we tell them in this class is earth-shattering or brand new, but sometimes the group itself helps people do better,” Bartosh said. “It’s so much fun to watch people interact and have one person helping another person.”
Bartosh said she has facilitated this workshop about five times already. Every week, she learns something new.
“I learn every time I go, whether I learn it from the curriculum or I learn it from them,” she said. “The people that come always teach me something new. It’s truly a group learning experience. It’s healthy, and it’s helpful.”
Topics covered during the class include relaxation skills, managing symptoms and emotions, improving communications, decision making and getting a good night’s sleep. According to Bartosh, every session will end with setting a weekly goal.
“We set goals and then we try to implement that goal for next week,” she said. “Six weeks is a long time, but every week there is really good information. Every class is different, but we always end each class with goal-setting.”
The worship will be hosted at the CAL, 211 10th St., Worthington from 10 a.m. to noon on Sept. 11, 18 and 25, and Oct. 2, 9 and 16. Registration is required. People interested may call Bartosh at 295-5262 or Kris Hohensee, the director at the CAL, at 376-6457.
“I hope they learn something and take it and run with it and learn how to handle it” Bartosh said. “My hope is that they can improve their life.”