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Living well for better health: Free workshop series underway

By Anne Gabbianelli

Special to The Weekly

By making a 15-hour investment of your time and having a willingness to learn, a person living with a chronic illness can better manage their condition. It’s all thanks to the volunteers and staff at Eastern Area Agency on Aging (EAAA).

For the past seven years, The Living Well workshop series has been teaching participants (18-years and older) with chronic conditions and those who support them with practical skills to put them in the driver’s seat of their own wellness.

Lisa Dunning, Director of Wellness at EAAA said, “We do not teach disease specific information but rather how to manage all of the issues that affect someone with a chronic condition like fear, anxiety, fatigue, pain and more.”

Participants take advantage of this evidence-based program each year with a focus on increasing that number through local partnerships with other area providers.

Dunning said, “The developers at Stanford University have done research to prove the efficacy of the program. It is meant to help folks better manage chronic conditions.”

A Master Trainer, like Dunning, seeks out individuals who have a chronic condition or supports someone with a chronic condition to be lay leaders for the workshop.

“Often we partner with healthcare organizations who have their team members trained to deliver the programming in their practice setting,” said Dunning. “We teach folks to take off their professional ‘hats’ to deliver this material in the way that it was designed to do so at Stanford University to ensure that we follow fidelity practices.”

The free workshop consists of six sessions that last for 2.5 hours weekly. The six week workshop is being held at EAAA’s annex location in the Airport Mall at 1129 Union Street in Bangor.

The series of workshops began Tuesday, Aug. 29 and will run through Tuesday, Oct. 3 from 10:30 am to 1 pm. Registration is still open for those living with a chronic illness, a family member, friend or caregiver. You can register by calling: 941-2865 or 1-800- 432-7812.

Because the Tuesday workshops run through the lunch hour, you are encouraged to bring a bag lunch.

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