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Don’t fight a chronic disease by yourself

By Staff | May 27, 2010

West Maui residents battling chronic diseases should take advantage of a six-week program that starts June 5 at the West Maui Senior Center.

Facilitator Eve Clute explained, “Program participants are adults experiencing chronic health conditions such as hypertension, arthritis, heart disease, stroke, lung disease and diabetes. The program helps people deal with problems such as frustration, fatigue, pain and isolation that come from having a long-term illness,” she commented.

With the theme “Take Control of Your Life,” attendees will set achievable action plans that lead to healthier habits and greater confidence, learn how to get help and make new friends.

“I found that the program creates a support system within the group. While everyone is focused on improving their own health, the group members share and learn from each other. Sharing what works for one person’s condition can help someone else in the group. It does not matter if the person has a heart condition or diabetes — the same techniques work to help one improve one’s health,” said Clute.

“It is the process in which the program is taught that makes it effective. Classes are highly participative, where mutual support and success build the participants’ confidence in their ability to manage their health and maintain active and fulfilling lives.”

Designed mostly by doctors at the School of Medicine at Stanford University, the program will not conflict with existing programs or treatment. It is designed to enhance regular treatment and disease-specific education.

Each participant will receive a copy of the book, “Living a Healthy Life With Chronic Conditions,” and an audio relaxation tape called “Time for Healing.”

Coming to Lahaina through the Maui County Office on Aging-Ke Ola Pono, the workshop will be held June 5, 12, 19 and 26, and July 3 and 10 at the West Maui Senior Center along Lahainaluna Road.

The fee is just $10 for seniors and caregivers. For folks under 60, the cost is $35 (scholarships are available). For more information, or to register, call 281-0094.