Registration available for workshop for chronically ill starting May 9

REED CITY – Individuals with chronic health conditions are invited to attend a six-week Personal Action Toward Health workshop to learn practical skills to help in facing daily challenges and learn how to manage symptoms.

Weekly sessions will be held from 2:30 to 5 p.m. at the Reed City Depot, located at 200 North Chestnut St., beginning on May 9 and ending June 13.

“The course is a tremendous help in coping with any chronic disease and also helpful for caretakers,” said past participant and organizer Marlene Fatum.

Individuals with chronic diseases such as multiple sclerosis, arthritis, diabetis, balance issues and any other disease are welcome to attend.

The goals of each session are to help individuals improve their health and quality of life and delay the need for long term care by managing symptoms. At each meeting, participants will share their successes and gain support of others. Participants will learn how to deal with challenges of not feeling well, talk to healthcare workers and family members, overcome stress and relax, increase their energy, handle everyday activities more easily and stay independent.

Fatum said in a past class, she learned from another participant that one way to cope with balance issues is by walking backward each day.

Participants will learn about a variety of coping strategies and management ideas, and can choose to implement the ones that best suit their needs. The class currently has a couple people registered but organizers welcome many more. Past classes have seen been between 12 and 14 participants.

“This class helps them know that they are not alone,” Fatum said. “We see people from all walks of life and everybody is dealing with some of the same issues.”

Workshops will be conducted by two trained leaders, Brenda Long and Cindy Gahan, educators from the Ionia and Cadillac Michigan State University extension offices.

The sessions are free and interested individuals should plan on attending all six sessions. Caregivers are also welcome to attend. Call Fatum at (231) 465-4141 or e-mail to register for the course.