“A SEMIANNUAL TRIP to the emergency room is not a treatment protocol for chronic illness,” writes Jack Stockert, MD in MedCityNews. Stockert urges healthcare innovators to shift their focus from acute, episodic care to chronic condition management, noting that chronic diseases such as heart disease, COPD, and diabetes top the list of leading causes of death in the United States.
The Mary Williams Community Senior Center launched a proactive program addressing the alarming lack of chronic care management with a workshop on self-managing chronic conditions. Seniors embark on a six-week journey to understand nutrition, pain management, and join a support group led by trained volunteers who have learned to manage their own conditions.
“We know that we have to find a way to help people,” says Marta Keane, CEO of the Jefferson Area Board for Aging. “And it’s important to help people help themselves, to teach them to take control of their lifestyle, to find ways to live with the chronic disease and minimize its negative impact on their life. It is a quality-of-life issue.”
Chronic care management might sound like a strain on resources, at first. But, by educating and empowering patients with chronic conditions, they can start to live a healthier lifestyle while eliminating excessive care.