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Better Choices, Better Health: Free Workshops for Older Adults 

For many older adults, living with an ongoing health condition can get in the way of what is otherwise supposed to be the “golden years” of life. For residents of Allegheny County, though, that doesn’t have to be the case. 
A free workshop called Better Choices, Better Health provides adults age 60 and older the tools to manage their chronic conditions and live healthier, happier lives.
Better Choices, Better Health, a program of the Allegheny County Department of Human Services Area Agency on Aging, Vintage, Inc., and the United Way of Allegheny County, will be offered at 23 locations this spring and summer.  Workshop start dates will range from April 26 to July 11.
The Better Choices, Better Health workshops are held once a week for two and a half hours in community settings such as senior centers, churches, libraries and hospitals. The workshops are is intended for adults age 60 and older with chronic health problems like diabetes, high blood pressure, arthritis, heart disease, and stroke. Workshops are conducted by trained leaders who also serve as peers for the workshop participants. 
The Better Choices, Better Health workshops succeed because they are highly participative, and the mutual support provided by peers and other workshop participants helps build confidence in the participants’ ability to manage their health and maintain active, fulfilling lives.
Through these weekly sessions, workshop attendees learn:
• techniques to deal with problems such as frustration, fatigue, pain and isolation;
• appropriate exercise for maintaining and improving strength, flexibility and endurance;
• appropriate use of medications;
• how to effectively communicate with family, friends and health professionals;
• proper nutrition benefits; and
• how to evaluate new treatments.
Each participant in the workshop receives a copy of the program’s companion book called “Living a Healthy Life with Chronic Conditions,” and those who graduate from the program receive an audio CD called “Time for Healing.” The book and CD help participants maintain healthy lives beyond the program.
For more information about Better Choices, Better Health, including workshop locations and starting dates, call (412) 350- 4242 or visit. www.alleghenybetterhealth.org

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