Managing Chronic Illness: Here's Why It Takes a Village & How You Can Help by Glenda Bundy
As it takes a village to raise a child, I believe it takes a village to manage chronic illnesses in our families and communities. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “One in four Americans has multiple chronic conditions, those that last a year or more and require ongoing medical attention or that limit activities of daily living.”
Chronic conditions are associated with high health-care costs, along with increasing out-of-pocket dollars for patients. As a village, we need to take accountability for – and with – our loved ones. Here's how you can help:
- Become educated on the disease process and elect specific individuals to work closely with the health-care team of the affected love one.
- Help the individual focus on activities that will improve the condition.
- Seek support groups in the area.
- If you observe psychological distress or an inability to cope, offer professional counseling and ensure he or she has the resources to follow up.
- If the individual is not following the plan of care, address the underlying reasons and employ additional resources and support.
Let's work together to keep our community healthy.