Learning to live with your chronic disease

Jocelyn Turner
Send to a friend

Send this article to a friend.

Maryanne Jackson, volunteer coordinator for the Your Way to Wellness program is gearing up for the first session of the program taking place in Amherst Tuesday evening at the Cumberland Health Care Centre. The program is designed to help people living with chronic diseases learn to stay healthy and manage their ailment while still doing all the things they love. 

SPRINGHILL - Living with arthritis or diabetes can be difficult.

You may feel like you have to give up some of your daily rituals like that long walk you take every day with your furry best friend. But the Your Way to Wellness program is showing chronic disease suffers they can still do all the things they want while managing their ailments.

"It's a six-week program and we offer two-and-a-half hours every week. We also offer it to caregivers," said Maryanne Jackson, a volunteer co-ordinator for the program and volunteer services with the Cumberland Health Authority. "What we do is every week, we have different topics. We'll cover things like eating healthier and keeping active. A lot of times, someone will be diagnosed with a type of chronic condition and they stop doing everything because they can't do it to the capacity that they did before."

A lot of participants from the program are diagnosed with a chronic ailment like arthritis and believe they can't do the same activities they enjoy, such as yard work. Jackson said the program leaders, who are also living with a chronic condition, teach the members they are still able to do all the things they love but need to adjust their routines to accommodate their diagnosis.

"We had a client who liked to pile wood. Once he had a chronic condition, he stopped piling the wood," she said. "Well, he really looked forward to doing every morning. We talked about goal setting and taught him how to look at it a little differently. So he can't pile three-quarter wood like he used to but, in the morning, he could get it up, pile wood for 10 or 15 minutes and take a break and go back at it after lunch for another 10 or 15 minutes."

The program will also cover different ways to manage their symptoms, improve self-confidence, manage any fear anger and frustration about their diagnosis as well as managing daily tasks, learning to talk to their doctors and health care team and goal setting.

Something new for the program this year is some of their meeting locations. Jackson said they will also be visiting some retirement homes and having meetings with residents there.

The program in Amherst will begin Tuesday at the Cumberland Regional Health Care Centre and will also be taking place in other communities in the county at different locations and times.

To find out more about the program or to register, contact Maryanne Jackson at 597-5400 ext. 8145 or email her at maryanne.jackson@cha.nshealth.ca




  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

Thanks for voting!

Top of page



Recent comments

  • mike
    September 11, 2012 - 09:50

    Thankfully not all of us agree with Bill or You Got to Be Kidding. I have recently obtained the medical services of Dr. Atia and he has been amazing. I feel better, because of his help, than I have felt in many years. I also have a friend who has an insulin pump, acquired from her doctor right here in, you guessed it, Amherst. I have also had many discussions with several, different local nurses who are quite familiar with the pump. Lots of great medical right here in our own area. Keep up the great work and thanks for offering information to people who want it. For those who don't, its easy.....stay away.

    • you got to be kidding...
      September 11, 2012 - 22:22

      to Mike...if this Dr Atia is good, he must be new here,,,as for your talking with several local nurses who you claim know about the insulin pumps, they must be in hiding....because after being in amherst hospital more than 2 dozen times over the last 3 years with diabetic emergencies not only didnt they know about the pump, but didnt know how to treat diabetes in general which is why i have to travel to moncton and halifax because there is no one here qualified to treat diabetics.......

  • bill
    September 10, 2012 - 20:06

    this is another waste of money and time everyone will get arthritis in life time if they work or work hard if they get the right doctor he will cure the pain but where can you find a good doctor in amherst no just moncton or halifax or montreal

    • Young RA
      September 12, 2012 - 09:39

      As someone who was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis at the age of 24 not everyone experiences arthritis the same. To keep working at my job (that I went back to school for as I could no longer work in my chosen occupation) I currently receive an IV every 4 weeks of a very special medication (This takes 3 hours to complete). I am on seven other oral meds at the same time trying to keep my arthritis under control. I was diagnosed by an Amherst doctor (Dr Maccrossin) and was helped by him and the physical therapy team at the hospital until I could be seen by a specialist. I thank him and my specialist in Moncton that they are able to keep me walking, not something that you should have to think about at the age of 30! Oh and by the way, I have a dibilating illness, a handicap parking tag for my car and I still manage to support myself and go to work every day. Unlike the ‘Tim Horton’s’ crowd. I think people like me need all the support we can get. Unfortunately when I tried to reach the person putting on the work shop she never returned my call or email….

  • you got to be kidding......
    September 10, 2012 - 16:43

    The only way this would work is if the medical community got their collective heads out of their backsides and caught up on MODERN treatments. Pretty sad when not one doctor or nurse in this territory has heard of an insulin pump.......