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Ohio Department of Aging Aging Connection

Aging Connection

CONNECT TO | Programs & Benefits
June 2010

Volunteer Leaders Needed for Health Self-Management Programs
Help People Learn How to Live Healthier

Self-management programs help Ohioans with chronic diseases learn to manage their conditions and take control of their health. They are proven community initiatives that provide health benefits and promote disease prevention. Currently, such programs are available in 24 Ohio counties, but, thanks to $1 million in grant funding through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), the Ohio Department of Aging and the state's 12 area agencies on aging will expand two evidence-based chronic disease self-management programs statewide.

Health Self-Management Programs

The Chronic Disease Self-Management Program teaches participants living with diseases, such as high blood pressure, asthma and arthritis, and their caregivers how to minimize symptoms, handle medications and design their own self-management program. The Diabetes Self-Management Program teaches participants how to manage the mental and physical symptoms of type 2 diabetes, eat healthy and communicate more effectively with their health care providers.

Both programs focus on the participants' role in managing their illnesses and building their confidence so they can be successful in adopting healthier behaviors. An essential element to these six-session workshops is that they are held in community-based settings, such as senior centers, faith-based organizations and libraries and most are led by certified and trained workshop leaders.

Area agencies on aging are looking for individuals to become trained workshop leaders who will conduct these small group programs. Workshop leaders are volunteers who typically have chronic conditions themselves. These outgoing individuals must want to help others learn to take control and improve their quality of life. Workshop leaders make a tremendous difference in the lives of the people they serve through a proven, effective program. They have the satisfaction of providing a valuable educational program in the community, in addition to forming new and lasting relationships and learning new skills.

Workshop leaders attend a four day class to receive specialized training and easy-to-use instructional materials, are mentored by master trainers and conduct workshops using a prepared curriculum. For more information about this volunteer opportunity, contact your area agency on aging at 1-866-243-5678.

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Programs & Benefits

Medical Foster Home Program for Veterans
The Chillicothe VA Medical Center recently announced the Medical Foster Home Program, which offers a community-based living arrangement for adults who cannot live independently due to physical or mental difficulties or disabilities. Medical Foster Homes are owned by caregivers in the community who provide 24-hour care to veterans and help prevent nursing home placement. Eligible veterans must have financial resources to pay for the cost of care, which ranges from $1,300 to $2,500 monthly. For more information, contact Lynn Morton, Medical Foster Home Coordinator, at (740) 773-1141, ext. 6507 or 1-800-358-8262, ext. 6507.