The Chronic Disease Self-Management (CDSM) workshop gave Bernestine Washington lifestyle methods that she uses daily. But when she first heard about the workshop, she never imagined that would be the case.
CDSM, taught by the Division of Aging, Adult, and Behavioral Health Services (DAABHS), shows senior citizens techniques to deal with stress and chronic health issues like arthritis, asthma, diabetes, and high blood pressure, just to name a few. Washington works at a child care center that serves children with developmental disabilities. The tips from the training has not only changed her life but also the lives of the kids she serves.
DHS Matters: What did you like about the workshop?
Washington: It kept us involved. We learned breathing patterns and did some relaxing stretches. The training turned out to be well-rounded. I love how it taught us how to care for not just older people, but all people.
DHS Matters: What part of CDSM have you told your friends about?
Washington: I’ve talked constantly about the chair stretches. It wasn’t until the workshop that I realized you can stretch your body that much while sitting down. When you have arthritis in your legs, if you’ve been sitting down for a long time and you do a leg stretch, you can hear your legs go pop, pop, pop, pop. The stretches loosen the legs up. I’m happy they taught us those chair stretches.
DHS Matters: What part of the training do you use at the child care center?
Washington: My babies love doing the breathing patterns. They have fun with it. I knew I was going to use it with my kids, even while I was still doing the breathing techniques at the workshop. The breathing helps the kids calm down, just like it helps an adult calm down.
For more info about CDSM, contact Ronda Gilbert-Hines at firstname.lastname@example.org.