Our Programs

Live Well

live well program, western connecticut agency on agingWhat is the Live Well Program?

The Live Well Program, a Chronic Disease Self-Management Program (CDSMP), is a free workshop given 2½ hours, once a week, for six weeks, in community settings such as senior centers, churches, libraries and hospitals. People with different chronic health conditions attend the program together. Workshops are facilitated from a highly-detailed manual by two trained leaders, one or both of whom may be peers with a chronic health condition. The program teaches self management techniques which encourage participants to…

  • Find better ways of dealing with pain, fatigue, difficult emotions, anxiety and stress
  • Discover easy exercises to help improve or maintain strength and energy
  • Improve nutrition
  • Learn the appropriate use of medications
  • Talk effectively with family, friends and health professionals
  • making informed treatment decisions
  • Feel better about life

The process in which Live Well is taught makes it effective. Sessions are highly participative, where mutual support and success builds the participants' confidence in their ability to manage their health and maintain active and fulfilling lives.

Does the Program replace existing programs and treatments?

The Self-Management Workshop will not conflict with existing programs or treatment. It is designed to enhance regular treatment and disease-specific education such as Better Breathers, cardiac rehabilitation, or diabetes instruction. In addition, many people have more than one chronic condition. The program is especially helpful for these people, as it gives them the skills to coordinate all the things needed to manage their health, as well as to help them keep active in their lives.

What were the results from the CDSMP study from Stanford University?

Subjects who took the workshop, when compared to those who did not, demonstrated significant improvements in exercise, cognitive symptom management, communication with physicians, self-reported general health, health distress, fatigue, disability, and social/role activities limitations. They also spent fewer days in the hospital, and there was also a trend toward fewer outpatient visits and hospitalizations. These data yield a cost to savings ratio of approximately 1:10. Many of these results persist for as long as three years.

How do I get involved?

Live Well Workshops

Please visit our Calendar regularly, Live Well workshops are continuously added throughout WCAAA's 41 towns.

Live Well Leader Training 

WCAAA is currently seeking people interested in becoming Workshop Leaders and organizations to become host sites for the Live Well program. Leaders work with a co-leader and will be trained for free; no prior experience is necessary. Leaders are provided with a well organized manual for use during the workshops. Host sites will hold the Live Well Program at their organization and either identify two people (staff member and/or volunteer etc.) affiliated with the host site to be trained as lay leaders who will lead a workshop within 6 months of training, and assist with coordinating and marketing the program within their organization or leaders may be available to come to site.  

Spanish Version - Tomando Control de su Salud

Tomando Control de su Salud is a free workshop given two and a half hours, once a week for six weeks. The workshops are held in community settings such as senior centers, churches, libraries and hospitals. Spanish speaking people with different chronic health problems attend together. Workshops are facilitated by two trained leaders, one or both of whom are non-health professionals with a chronic disease themselves. All workshops are given in Spanish without translators. The program is not a translation of the Chronic Disease Self- Management Program, but developed separately in Spanish. Subject covered are similar but they are presented in ways that are culturally appropriate.

If you or someone you know would like to learn more, please call WCAAA at (203) 757-5449 or (800) 994-9422

Live Well is sponsored by WCAAA, the Department on Aging, and the Connecticut Department of Public Health, through a grant from the Administration on Aging.