SeniorAge Area Agency on Aging


Chronic Disease Self Management Education (CDSME)

Diabetes, arthritis, hypertension, lung disease. Chronic diseases like these can force seniors to give up their independence too soon. About 80% of older adults have at least one chronic disease, and 68% have at least two. SeniorAge hosts proven programs that empower individuals to manage their own care and improve their quality of life.

Chronic Disease Self Management Education (CDSME) programs are growning by the day! Since 2006, more than 300,000 people have participated in a CDSME program.  More than 24,500 workshops were hosted throughout the country with an average of 12 participants in each class.  

Who is Participating?

  • 72% are over age 60
  • 59% have more than one chronic condition (top three include hypertension, arthritis, and diabetes)
  • 32% are non white
  • 17% are HIspanic/Latino
  • 44% live alone

Chronic diseases place a significant burden on individuals as well as health care systems. The good news is that people with chronic diseases who learn how to manage their symptoms can improve their quality of life and reduce their health care costs. 

The suite of CDSME programs developed by Stanford University have been proven to help older adults better manage their chronic conditions, improve their quality of life, and lower health care costs. Through a partnership with the U.S. Administration for Community Living’s Administration on Aging, NCOA promotes the implementation of CDSME in communities throughout the U.S.

CDSMP workshops are designed to help people gain self-confidence in their ability to control their symptoms and learn how their health problems affect their lives. Small-group, highly interactive workshops are six weeks long, meeting once a week for 2 ½ hours, and are facilitated by a pair of leaders, one or both of whom are non-health professionals with chronic diseases themselves.

The workshop topics include the following:

  • How to deal with frustration, fatigue, pain, and isolation
  • Ways to maintain and improve strength, flexibility, and endurance
  • Managing medications
  • How to communicate more effectively with family, friends, and health professionals
  • Healthy eating

Self-management programs, offered in communities throughout the SeniorAge service area, can give older adults with chronic diseases the tools they need to better manage their symptoms and put life back in their life. Contact your local Senior Activity Center for information on upcoming classes.

You Can Make a Difference—Donate Today!