Chronic Disease Management
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), chronic diseases are responsible for 7/10 deaths each year. Among the most common are heart disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes, obesity, and arthritis, all of which are highly preventable. Health risk behaviors are the unhealthy habits that a person engages in and are the critical factors leading to disease and symptom exacerbation, as well as early death. Such behaviors include lack of physical activity, poor diet and nutrition, continued smoking, and alcohol abuse.
For those of us with one or multiple chronic diseases, our doctors, specialists, and therapists will all talk to us and give us guidelines about what to eat, not eat, do, not do, what medications to take, what supplements not to, etc. The information can get very overwhelming, so we tend to put the papers aside and try really hard to go about our lives as "normally" as we can.
During our individual sessions, I focus on getting to know you, your values, your beliefs, your roles, routines, habits, etc. I will help you connect the full picture of your condition and teach you how to educate yourself using appropriate sources. I will then coach you in problem-solving ways to reduce your health risk behaviors according to your doctor's suggestions, but also according to your own personal priorities. Not everyone is ready to quit smoking and would rather work on diet first, and even then, if you are used to eating steak and potatoes every night, it may not be appropriate for your first goal to be "cut out all starchy things," when "eat a slightly smaller portion of steak and potatoes each day and add some greens" might be a little less jarring of a change. Let us collaborate together to find out what works for you so that you may continue living a healthful life.
The following is a list of topics that I address when working with those living with a chronic disease:
- Pain Management
- Home Modifications
- Ergonomic Assessments
- Meal Planning
- Smoking/Alcohol Use Reduction or Cessation
- Alcohol use reduction
- Obesity/Weight management
- Developing Routine
- Medication Management
- Incorporation of Physical Activity
- Low Vision Modifications
Caregivers also play an incredible part in the lives of those caring for someone with a chronic disease. Oftentimes, the health of these expected-to-be-superhuman individuals is overlooked. Please visit the Caregiver Support page to learn more about the services I offer.