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Managing Chronic Pain and Chronic Conditions

Chronic conditions are the most common and costly of all health problems, but they are also the most preventable. Although chronic conditions are more common among older adults, they affect people of all ages and are now recognized as a leading health concern.

Many adults find themselves living with ongoing or chronic health conditions such as arthritis, heart disease, diabetes, and breathing problems that can have a negative impact on daily life and well-being. Symptoms such as fatigue, pain, anxiety, tense muscles, and depression become activated and feed on each other, making it difficult to accomplish daily tasks, keep up with personal interests, hobbies, and social connections, and even to avoid fall-related injuries.

The good news is that whatever your current state of health, you CAN get back to feeling better and getting more out of life! 

How We Can Help

The Agewell Center at Southern Maine Agency on Aging (SMAA) offers two nationally-recognized workshops to help you achieve your personal wellness goals:

Our workshops meet the highest standards for evidence-based programs established by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and have been proven effective.

Living Well for Better Health

Living Well for Better Health (also known as the Chronic Disease Self-Management program) is a 6-session workshop designed to help people with chronic health issues learn about different "tools" or techniques to manage their symptoms, improve their health, and start living a more fulfilling life. Participants and trained leaders meet once a week for 2.5 hours each session to discuss various strategies to become proactive self-managers of one's own health.

text: learn to break the symptom cycleParticipants learn about:

  • How to take control of one's health by stopping the symptom cycle that keeps you feeling stuck
  • Eating and exercising for better health
  • Evaluating medications and treatment options
  • Techniques to improve sleep and relaxation
  • Effective communication with friends, family, caregivers, and health 
    professionals
  • How to use action planning to set realistic goals in our daily lives and achieve them

The Living Well for Better Health program can help you if:

  • You are diagnosed with a chronic health condition (any health concern that persists over months or years)
  • You experience a "yo-yo" effect with your symptoms which makes it difficult to accomplish the things you want to do
  • You want to take charge of your own health and learn strategies to improve symptoms

Living Well for Better Health is offered by the Center for Agewell Programs at the Southern Maine Agency on Aging (SMAA). Living Well for Better Health is a Stanford CDSME Program provided in partnership to the Maine DHHS health initiative, Healthy Choices for ME!

Living Well with Chronic Pain

The Living Well with Chronic Pain is a 6-session workshop led by trained volunteer leaders which meets weekly for 2.5 hours each session, and is designed to help people who suffer from chronic pain conditions learn to manage their pain, improve their health, and get back to a more rewarding life. 

Participants learn about techniques that can help them:

  • Manage activity levels to reduce pain
  • Deal with problems such as frustration, fatigue, isolation, and poor sleep
  • Maintain appropriate use of medications
  • Evaluate treatment options
  • Communicate effectively with family, friends, and health professionals
  • Use action plans to create and achieve personal goals

Living Well with Chronic Pain can help you if:

  • You experience chronic pain (pain that persists or reoccurs for months or years)
  • You experience a "yo-yo" effect with your pain or other symptoms which makes it difficult to accomplish the things you want to do
  • You want to take charge of your own health and learn strategies to improve symptoms 

Living Well with Chronic Pain is offered by the Center for Agewell Programs at the Southern Maine Agency on Aging (SMAA). Living Well with Chronic Pain is a Stanford CDSME Program provided in partnership to the Maine DHHS health initiative, Healthy Choices for ME!