Frequently Asked Questions
Who is it for?
It is for people with one or more chronic conditions such as diabetes, kidney disease, arthritis, respiratory disease, heart disease or chronic pain, anyone with any long-term physical or mental health issues, their caregivers, family or friends.
Is the program suitable for everyone?
Participants must be able to set goals and function in a group setting. For example, the program would not be appropriate for someone with advanced dementia or memory impairment, or for someone who would be disruptive in a group. However, caregivers, family members or friends can benefit from learning self-management skills to help support others and take care of themselves.
Can a caregiver attend without the person who has the chronic condition?
Yes, a caregiver or family member who is supporting someone with a chronic condition is welcome. The program can be very helpful for them.
What if I can't read the book?
Let the peer leaders know that you would like an audio CD instead.
Do I need to attend all six sessions? / Can I pick and choose which sessions I want to attend?
The workshop has been carefully developed and evaluated at Stanford University, and the research shows participants benefit the most from learning new skills over the 6-week period and practising what they learn in between sessions. We do know that “life happens” and people are not always able to come to all sessions, but attending as many sessions as possible will give you the most benefit.
What if I miss the first Session?
If the workshop is not full, it is possible to start at Session 2, but not after that.
Can I bring a guest to a session?
It is important that guests do not drop in on a workshop. Each session builds on the previous one and repeats important activities the participants have already learned. A new participant can easily disrupt the progress of the group and individuals. The guest will not get enough benefit out of one session and it is better for him/her to register (like all the other participants did) and take the whole workshop from the beginning.
Do I have to participate?
While no one is forced to participate, the workshop is based on the idea of learning and practicing new skills. You can participate in the activities without having to share anything that is overly personal. The amount of time any one person “talks” is limited, and all participants are asked to keep strict confidentiality about what is said.
Will I learn anything new?
The concept of self-management is new for many people. The workshop allows participants to “tailor” it to their own needs by setting their own goals each week and solving any problems they encountered.
Do I need a referral from a health care professional?
No. Some people are referred, but participation is “open” to anyone who is interested.
How many people are in the workshop?
There are about 8 to 16 participants in a workshop.
How is this program different from a support group or exercise group?
The Living a Healthy Life with Chronic Conditions program is a licensed program from Stanford University. This program follows a standardized format that is proven to help people learn to better manage the symptoms of chronic disease. Participants develop skills such as planning and problem-solving skills, and communication skills in addition to learning about healthy living. Doing exercise or sharing “general” problems or inviting an outside/guest speaker are not part of this program.
May I take the workshop again?
Yes, you may take the workshop again. However, preference will be given to someone who has not taken it before.