Wednesday, April 15, 2015
The Healthier Living Workshop (HLW) is a free six week session for people living with chronic health conditions. The program was developed at Stanford University Patient Education Research Center as a collaborative research project between Stanford University and the Northern California Kaiser Permanente Medical Care Program.
The workshop has been taught at Northeastern Vermont Regional Hospital for ten years; the current one is being co-taught by Jody Taylor, RN, BSN, Chronic Care Coordinator at Corner Medical, and Shauna Barrett. This course is held at the Corner Medical office from 5:30pm-8pm. Courses are held four times per year at different times during the day or evening, always in an effort to accommodate patient schedules.
According to Taylor, the workshop can really make a difference for people; every week, goals and action plans are made that are achievable, so success and change is always within reach. For instance, rather than making a goal of wanting to lose weight, Taylor and Barrett encourage participants to break it down, and make a goal of eating vegetables 1, 2, 3 or 4 days a week, or eating potato chips with their lunch 2 times per week, rather than every day.
Research has shown that people with chronic conditions have similar concerns and problems, so group sharing is empowering, knowing that one is not alone with his/her feelings. “Our intention is to assist people with self-management; patients learn to take a key role in managing their health. We help people discover that the symptom cycle also comes with a self-management toolbox,” said Taylor.
Topics covered in the six week series include an overview of self-management and chronic health conditions, using your mind to manage symptoms, getting a good night’s sleep, making an action plan, feedback and problem-solving, dealing with difficult emotions, physical activity and exercise, preventing falls, making decisions, pain and fatigue management, better breathing, healthy eating, communication skills, medication usage, making informed treatment decisions, dealing with depression, working with your healthcare professional and organization, weight management and future plans. Support people are always welcome.
According to Taylor, she thoroughly enjoys facilitating change in people’s lives. She understands that living with a chronic condition is difficult and that the mind is a powerful tool for making situations better or worse. The Healthier Living Workshop creates a framework for people to change their lives.
Taylor has been teaching this course for three years and has seen people make remarkable and significant changes in their lives. “It’s a great program and seeing the difference in people is enough for me!”
Participants receive a 300-page booklet and relaxation audio tape. For further information, please call Pam Smart at 748-7395.