Chronic Illness workshop

Scott and Lynne Barringer

Robson Ranch’s Living Well Committee provided the opportunity for a six-week, three hours weekly, Chronic Illness Workshop in late September through early November. Some attendees had chronic illnesses, and other participants learned more about making better health choices.

Laurie Long, PhD and Eboni Palmer, workshop leaders, provided tips on functioning better regardless of life’s difficulties. No miracles or cures exist. We learned how to be positive self-managers while seeking advice from health care professionals and becoming proactive in our daily management.

Discussions involved self-management skills to maintain a healthy lifestyle with regular exercise, healthy eating, sound sleep habits and stress management. Each week the workshop focused on one particular topic followed by each attendee setting an action plan to improve his/her current condition. A tool box was used to set specific and realistic goals and brainstormed on how to best accomplish our goals. These goals included better eating, more exercise, organization skills and getting out more with friends and family. If a goal was not met successfully, we brainstormed what went wrong, revised our goal, and at times lowered our initial expectation.

Attendees received a “Living a Healthy Life with Chronic Conditions Workbook.” One chapter focused on relaxation techniques, and, as a graduation present from the workshop, attendees received a relaxation tape. Another chapter emphasized how poor communication affects our physical, mental and emotional health. Expressing our feelings and saying no is okay as well as asking and accepting help. Communicating well with the healthcare provider was emphasized using P.A.R.T. (Prepare, Ask, Repeat, Take action). The exercise section showed that some activity is better than none including good breathing skills, abdominal breathing and meditation. Three basic building blocks are frequency, time and intensity. Scott Barringer commented, “The goal was to achieve the things we want to do and get the most pleasure from life. When we learn the skills to positively manage our lives we will live healthier lives.”

A healthy eating discussion included key principles of healthy eating, tips to manage how much you eat and fitting in favorite foods while making better choices. A food map helped participants visualize what a healthy meal looks like, showing a quarter plate of fruit, one-fourth of vegetables, another fourth of protein (lean meat, fish or poultry, or cooked dry beans or lentils), and finally grains (preferably whole grains). Calcium-rich foods complete the meal. See USDA’s My Plate website at

Living Well Senior Care Texas provided refreshments for program graduates who learned how to function at their best.

All content within presentations sponsored by the Living Well at Robson Ranch Committee is intended for general information only. It should not be treated as a substitute for the medical advice of a professional health care provider. Neither the Living Well at Robson Ranch Committee, Robson Ranch Denton HOA, nor Robson Communities is responsible or liable for the content and do not endorse any commercial product or service mentioned or advised in any presentation.