Better Choices, Better Health

Related topics: Health & Wellness

Older Woman Working on Laptop Computer

The National Council on Aging (NCOA) announces the debut of Better Choices, Better Health™, the online version of the internationally recognized Chronic Disease Self Management Program (CDSMP).

The program will be available free for people with chronic health conditions in seven states—California, Hawaii, Iowa, Maine, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and Oregon.

Better Choices, Better Health™ helps people with arthritis, asthma, diabetes, lung disease, heart disease, stroke, and osteoporosis and many other chronic conditions manage their symptoms and take control of their health. Developed and tested at the Stanford University Patient Education Center, the workshop is offered exclusively through a license from NCOA. This seven-state pilot effort is supported with funding from The Atlantic Philanthropies.

Interested people can register online at the Better Choices, Better Health™ website. Spaces are limited, and availability is on a first-come, first-served basis.

"Nearly half of all adults live with one or more chronic health conditions, and many struggle to find ways to manage their condition," said Jay Greenberg, senior vice president of Social Enterprise at NCOA. "Better Choices, Better Health™ meets people where they increasingly are—online.   The workshop represents a convenient way for people to develop the confidence and skills they need to cope with their illnesses. It provides a way for them to help others, while they help themselves."

Evidence-Based, Six-Week Workshop is Available Online

Better Choices, Better Health™ helps participants reduce their pain and anxiety and manage a wide range of symptoms and conditions.

Led by trained instructors, participants together address topics such as stress reduction, dealing with distressful emotions, planning for the future, locating and using community resources, building communication skills, and asking for help.

Better Choices, Better Health™ participants can log onto the free sessions from any computer with an internet connection, including dial-up. Sessions are posted on a secure website each week for six weeks. There are no set times for workshop sessions; participants log on remotely at their convenience to complete exercises, read posted material, and interact with others. The workshops can be particularly useful for those individuals without access to transportation or who prefer the anonymity of a virtual group.

In addition to the online Better Choices, Better Health™, in-person community-based CDSMP workshops are provided locally around the country. Through funding from the U.S. Administration on Aging, these offerings are currently promoted to thousands of people in 45 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. Information on the community-based CDSMP program can be obtained by emailing CDSMP@ncoa.org.