Helping people take back control when living with the effects of chronic conditions—such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and depression—is the goal of the evidence-based program, Living Well With Chronic Conditions. Since 2011, local organizations have received training and support from MAAA to offer this workshop in their communities and foster healthy aging.
In August 2014, funding from the Minnesota Department of Human Services made it possible for MAAA, in partnership with the Wilder Community Center for Aging, to organize the first Minnesota leader training for Tomando Control de su Salud (the Spanish version of the workshop). The training was hosted by Comunidades Latinas Unidas En Servicio (CLUES) in Minneapolis. Leaders from CLUES, Centro Tyrone Guzman, NorthPoint Health and Wellness, and CommonBond completed the training.
In May, 2015, Centro’s Sandra Reyes and Susana Rodriguez conducted the very first Minnesota offering of Tomando Control de su Salud. Sandra noted, “Chronic diseases have increased in the Latino community in recent decades for various reasons, such as poor nutrition, stress, limited access to health care services, and limited education about prevention and treatment. The Tomando Control de su Salud program is an excellent tool to educate the community about how to manage symptoms and, in many cases, prevent other symptoms from appearing.” She added, “Centro Tyrone Guzman is committed to continue sharing this knowledge with our community, and we believe firmly that education is the first step toward empowering Latinos to be proactive in preventing and managing chronic disease.”
MAAA trains leaders and collaborates with community based organizations to implement several other evidence-based programs to foster healthy aging for a lifetime.
Tomando Control de su Salud: Hector’s Story
When Hector was diagnosed with diabetes, the doctor explained very little about the chronic disease. After the appointment, Hector simply continued the unhealthy behaviors that had led to the onset of diabetes. Fortunately, he was able to participate in Tomando Control de su Salud. Through the workshop, he began to truly understand diabetes, as well as the personal responsibility he had in controlling the chronic disease. He and his wife attended the six-session series together. His wife had not been diagnosed with a chronic illness, but her participation was critical. She could encourage Hector to make smart decisions and sustain behavior changes that would help control his condition and prevent future complications. Together with 13 other participants, the couple learned how to read food labels, control portion sizes, and make healthy eating choices. They have incorporated exercise into their daily routine, and they are encouraging others to participate in the program. Most of all, they feel fully engaged in their own health and well-being. (Story contributed by Centro)