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How to learn to live with illness

July 4, 2003
Reading Chronicle
Living with a long term medical condition is not easy.

But a series of courses being run in Windsor and Maidenhead are offering sufferers from diseases like arthritis, heart disease and multiple sclerosis the chance to learn from other sufferers how to cope.

Linda Powell, of Butlers Close, Windsor was diagnosed with diabetes just over a year ago and attended the first courses earlier this year.

She said: "I learnt how to pace myself, set realistic goals and listen to my body. The relaxation and exercise techniques were really useful as was help with communicating about your illness. It was also a big eye opener in terms of other people and their illnesses. It was good to meet other people dealing with similar situations."

The 'expert patient' programme is being run by Windsor, Ascot and Maidenhead Primary Care Trust (pct). There is no cost to participants.

Bob Proctor, a retired engineer from Maidenhead who has asthma and reduced lung capacity, said: "I found it extremely useful. It was six weeks of learning about good common sense living from which lots of people could benefit. You could also apply it to other situations, not just managing chronic illness."

The courses are designed for people with long term conditions. They are delivered by trained volunteer tutors who suffer chronic illnesses themselves.

The next course takes place at the St John Ambulance HQ, Maidenhead Road, Windsor, on six consecutive Wednesday evenings from September 10 to October 15 (7-9pm).

For more information contact Barbara Gallagher, Patient Advice and Liaison Service Manager, Windsor, Ascot and Maidenhead PCT on 01753 636112

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