People With Medicare
Take Charge of Your Health
A chronic disease is a condition that is expected to last a year or longer and requires regular medical care. It limits your physical, emotional, and social wellness. Some examples include arthritis, asthma, diabetes, cancer, heart disease, and obesity.
Note: One out of every 2 older adults has at least two chronic diseases. Almost two-thirds, or 65 percent, of the Medicare population have 2 or more chronic diseases.
There are ways to help reduce the risk of developing a chronic condition. People who are physically active, eat well, and live healthy lifestyle, can live better even with their chronic condition.
How can I better manage my chronic health conditions?
Medicare covers many preventive benefits. Most of these services are free for people with Medicare and strive to keep you healthy. Some of these services also help you manage your current health problems. It is important to get all the preventive and screening services Medicare covers.
There are also things you can do for yourself.
Chronic disease self-management programs can teach you skills and ways to help you live healthier and better manage your chronic health problems. While the programs are not covered by Medicare, they are offered free of charge (some may charge a very small cost) in your community such as senior centers, libraries, and YMCAs throughout the country.
Chronic Disease Self-Management Programs
People who live with chronic health problems can live a quality life. They do not have to live with the pain, fatigue, and isolation that can come with certain health problems. They can learn how to improve their strength, flexibility, and endurance. Also, these programs help them build their confidence to live with their chronic condition and to learn how to effectively communicate with your doctors.
What is the Chronic Disease Self-Management Program?
The Chronic Disease Self-Management Program is a 6-week workshop, which meets a total of 2 and 1/2 hours a week. The workshop meets in the community such as senior centers, community health clinics, faith-based organizations, YMCAs, senior housing, and local libraries. People with different chronic health conditions attend together, and the course is led by trained and certified leaders, at least one of whom usually has a chronic illness. During the workshop, participants learn:
- How to manage their symptoms,
- Ways to reduce pain and stress,
- How to handle the emotions common to people living with chronic health problems,
- Techniques to better communicate with their doctor, and more.
The workshops are available in English throughout the country, as well as in Spanish and other languages in many communities. Or, join the program online for free.
Get Personal Help
Find a chronic disease self-management program in your area:
Community-Based Chronic Disease Self-Management Programs
- These programs teach people the skills to live healthier lives and better manage their chronic conditions. They are offered in community settings, such as senior centers or libraries.
Online Chronic Disease Self-Management Programs
- You can join an online version of the program. The program is free and offered to anyone in the United States. Learn more about the online workshops and how to sign-up.