There are many programs available that can help you take charge of your arthritis. Here are two that are being promoted by the New York State Department of Health's Arthritis Program. These programs have been shown to be effective in helping people manage their arthritis.
Chronic Disease Self Management Program (CDSMP)
The CDSMP is a six-week, interactive peer-support program designed by Stanford University. Workshops meet once a week for 2 ½ hours in convenient community settings such as libraries, senior centers, churches and hospitals. The small-groups are facilitated by a pair of leaders - one or both of whom is a non health professional who lives with a chronic disease. The program is designed to help people learn techniques and strategies for the day-to-day management of ongoing health conditions. People with different chronic conditions and/or disabilities attend together. The CDSMP focuses on issues common to people with a variety of health conditions, and participants develop skills through action planning and feedback, behavior modeling, problem solving techniques, and decision making. Caregivers are also welcome to attend.
- CDSMP topics include:
- Appropriate use of medications
- Healthy eating and proper nutrition
- Managing sleep and fatigue
- Safe and effective stretching and strengthening exercise
- Effective communication with friends, family and health care professionals
Tomando Control de su Salud is also available in NYS. It is not a translation of the CDSMP, but was developed separately. Topics covered are similar, but are presented in culturally appropriate ways and delivered entirely in Spanish.
If you want to learn more, or are interested in attending or offering the CDSMP or Tomando Control de su Salud program in New York State, contact the Quality and Technical Assistance Center at the University at Albany at: QTAC@albany.edu or 877.496.2780.
Walk With Ease Program (WWE)
Specifically developed for people with arthritis, this Arthritis Foundation program is also appropriate for people without arthritis, especially those with diabetes, heart disease and other chronic conditions, who want to get more active. Beginners to the physically fit can benefit - the only pre-requisite is the ability to be on your feet for at least 10 minutes without increased pain. Walk With Ease is a six-week program, with 3 sessions per week, lasting between 30 and 60 minutes each. Sessions are led by a trained leader and include time to socialize, a short lesson, warm up and cool downs and a 10-35 minute walking period.
- WWE topics include:
- Exercise do's and don'ts including tips for walking comfortably and safely
- Methods to make walking fun
- Making a doable personal walking plan with realistic goals for improved fitness
- Arthritis basics and the relationship between arthritis, exercise and pain
- Tips for "sticking with it," even when the going gets tough
- Information about other programs and resources that can help keep you walking
If you want to learn more, or are interested in attending or offering the WWE program in New York State, contact the Quality and Technical Assistance Center at the University at Albany at QTAC@albany.edu or 877.496.2780.