A weekly livestream focusing on wellness opportunities through the Area Agency on Aging District 7 (AAA7) recently debuted on the AAA7 Facebook page. “Wellness Wednesdays” is featured each week at 10 a.m. with a new wellness topic for discussion during the broadcast.

As routines have changed through the pandemic, so too have the wellness programs offered through the AAA7. The Agency offers a number of valuable and helpful programs designed to help individuals with their chronic conditions and other health concerns. Prior to the pandemic, the AAA7 would have these classes in person, but have moved them now to telephone classes.

Through “Wellness Wednesdays,” the Agency is able to expand the reach to share information about the valuable programs available to help with chronic disease self-management, diabetes self-management and chronic pain self-management. The goal is to increase knowledge about these programs and help more and more people learn to live with their chronic conditions and/or embrace helpful tips that can help individuals live healthier.

During the episode on Jan. 13, Carla Cox, of the AAA7’s Wellness Department and facilitator of wellness programs through the Agency, discussed in more detail the Chronic Pain Self-Management Program that is offered through the Agency.

Chronic pain is any pain that lasts for more than three months. Chronic pain is ongoing and unpredictable, and can have a profound negative effect on a person’s well-being and quality of life leading to depression, exhaustion and isolation. More than 100 million people suffer with chronic pain in the United States. The Chronic Pain Self-Management class is designed for those individuals who suffer from a chronic condition or for someone who is caring for an individual who suffers from chronic pain.

The class is not a substitute for medical treatment, but can give you tools and ideas to improve or complement treatments and other efforts to manage your pain. Participants will learn about various tools to manage chronic pain and be better able to make informed decisions. Through the class, participants learn to explore healthy ways to manage chronic pain so that they can enjoy their lives. Items discussed include: how to use physical activity to manage pain, decision making, action plans and short-term goals, breathing techniques, understanding emotions, communicating and working with healthcare professionals, healthy eating tips, better sleep tips and problem-solving related to pain conditions. Participants receive helpful materials to support their learning such as a tool kit, workbook, tip book, relaxation CD, exercise CD and healthy eating plate.

Evaluations received from past participants reveal that after completing the program, individuals have a higher life satisfaction, experience less pain, have less dependency on others, have improved social and physical function, and overall improved mental health.

Classes are available for those age 60 and over who live in one of the ten core counties located in the AAA7’s district which includes Adams, Brown, Gallia, Highland, Jackson, Lawrence, Pike, Ross, Scioto and Vinton. There is no cost associated with participating. Currently through the telephone, classes meet once a week for one hour for six total weeks.

If you missed the episode on Jan. 13, you can see a recorded version on the AAA7’s Facebook page or on the AAA7’s website at www.aaa7.org.

Your local Area Agency on Aging District 7, Inc. provides services on a non-discriminatory basis. These services are available to help older adults and those with disabilities live safely and independently in their own homes through services paid for by Medicare, Medicaid and other federal and state resources, as well as private pay. The AAA7’s Resource Center is also available to anyone in the community looking for information or assistance with long-term care options. Available Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. until 4:30 p.m., the Resource Center is a valuable contact for learning more about options and what programs and services are available for assistance.

Those interested in learning more can call toll-free at 1-800-582-7277 (TTY: 711). Here, individuals can speak directly with a specially trained Resource Specialist who will assist them with information surrounding the programs and services that are available to best serve their needs. The Agency also offers an assessment at no cost for those who are interested in learning more. Information is also available on www.aaa7.org, or the Agency can be contacted through e-mail at info@aaa7.org. The Agency also has a Facebook page located at www.facebook.com/AreaAgencyOnAgingDistrict7.