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Knowledge is Best Tool for Managing Chronic Conditions

An elderly woman applies a cream to her hands

Chronic conditions, such as arthritis or diabetes, can have multiple causes and symptoms that vary over time. One of the most important steps to manage your condition is to understand as much about it as you can and make choices that help you manage your health.

The Ohio Department of Aging detailed several ways that people living with chronic illnesses can manage their health.

Take your medicine as ordered by your doctor. Read the label on your prescription to make sure you take your medicine correctly. It is important to know how much medicine to take and take the medicine as long as ordered by your doctor. If you are confused about your medicine, call your pharmacy or talk with your doctor.

Questions to ask your doctor or pharmacist:

    • Why do I need to take this medicine?
    • When should I take it?
    • What is my dose?
    • What if I forget to take my medicine?
    • Does this medicine have any side effects?
    • Are there any foods I should not eat while I take this medicine? It may help to use a chart to keep track of your medicines.

A pill box or daily alarm can help you remember to take your medicine each day.

Make healthy choices each day. Your diet can make a big difference in managing your chronic condition. Try to add one fruit and one vegetable at each meal. Fruits and vegetables are packed with nutrients that help you maintain a healthy weight, gain energy, and help prevent additional chronic conditions.

Stay hydrated. Water helps to keep your body working well. It is important to drink plenty of water each day. Drink at least 8 cups of water each day, unless your doctor tells you otherwise. Try to switch out one of your other beverages, such as pop or juice, for a cup of water this week.

LifeCare Alliance helps people living with chronic illnesses by providing them with medical care and social support. Here are some of the services LifeCare Alliance offers to make life with a chronic condition feel more manageable:

  • Wellness — Patients can schedule one-on-one sessions with registered dietitians to learn important diabetes management skills. These sessions offer individualized coaching and customized education on lowering and managing blood sugar.
  • Help-At-Home — Personal care professionals help seniors battling chronic illnesses maintain a comfortable and independent life in their home by taking care of things like laundry, cooking, and running errands.
  • Project Openhand-Columbus — People living with HIV/AIDS can have nutritionally enriched meals delivered to their homes, as well as one-on-one nutritional counseling.

You can support these services and all of LifeCare Alliance’s work online here.

Photo credit: Pixabay.com