Care Connection for Aging Services is recruiting volunteers to lead its Chronic Disease Self-Management Education (CDSME), which has been proven to help older adults live well with chronic health conditions.

The volunteer recruitment is part of a statewide effort of the Missouri Association of Area Agencies on Aging to build a network of volunteer lay leaders who help their peers learn to manage health conditions such as heart problems, diabetes, arthritis and other chronic ailments.

The small-group CDSME workshops are aimed at participation, mutual support and confidence building with the goal that participants will maintain active and fulfilling lives.

After a four-day mandatory training, the volunteers would lead courses that include six weekly sessions. Each class will be taught by two lay leaders, preferably who themselves are living with a chronic health condition. People with different chronic health problems attend the classes together.

The proven practices for self-management are based on research conducted at Stanford University School of Medicine.

Over the six weeks, participants discuss techniques to deal with problems such as frustration, fatigue, pain and isolation; exercise for maintaining and improving strength, flexibility and endurance; and appropriate use of medications. Other topics include communication, nutrition, decision-making, and evaluating treatment options.

“We are looking for volunteers who might be interested in this opportunity in all of our 13 counties,” said Rona McNally, Director of Special Projects, who is overseeing the agency’s effort. “If you have a chronic health condition, volunteering would be a wonderful way to learn how to maintain a healthy lifestyle while providing valuable information to others at the same time.”

Care Connection will pay for the four-day training of volunteers who are committed to leading the program. Materials will be provided.

If you are interested in becoming a lay leader, please call Lifestyles Coach Shery Fogle at 1-800-748-7826.

Care Connection for Aging Services is a non-profit area agency on aging serving people 60 and older at 23 West Central Missouri locations in 13 counties – Bates, Benton, Carroll, Cedar, Chariton, Henry, Hickory, Johnson, Lafayette, Pettis, Saline, St. Clair and Vernon. The mission is to provide resources and services that empower people to create healthy aging experiences. For more information, visit

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