Community leaders needed for AAA7 programs

Submitted story

Don Davis currently serves as a community coach for the AAA7 wellness programs in Scioto County.

Don Davis currently serves as a community coach for the AAA7 wellness programs in Scioto County.

The Area Agency on Aging District 7 (AAA7) is looking for community leaders to assist with facilitating its Chronic Disease and Diabetes Self-Management classes. Community leaders/coaches will continue to support the classes in their individual communities after they complete training through the AAA7.

An upcoming training is scheduled in West Union beginning on Aug. 13 for those individuals who are interested. The AAA7 covers 10 counties in southern Ohio, including Adams, Brown, Gallia, Highland, Jackson, Lawrence, Pike, Ross, Scioto and Vinton.

Self-management programs for people with chronic conditions and diabetes are designed to help those with chronic diseases such as high blood pressure, asthma, arthritis and diabetes, learn to manage their conditions and take control of their health. The Chronic Disease Self-Management Program (CDSMP) and Diabetes Self-Management Program (DSMP) were created at Stanford University and are proven community initiatives that provide health benefits and promote disease prevention.

CDSMP and DSMP are six-session workshops that meet once a week where participants learn how to minimize symptoms such as fatigue, pain, stress and depression. The programs teach skills for communication, managing medications, better breathing, and how to design your own self-management program. The programs focus on the participants’ role in managing their illnesses and building their confidence so that they can be successful in adopting healthier behaviors. Workshops are highly interactive, where workshop leaders, as well as group members, provide support while learning new techniques for dealing with symptoms.

To expand this evidence-based program, the AAA7 is looking for individuals to become trained community coaches. These community leaders are volunteers who typically have chronic conditions or diabetes themselves and conduct workshops using the prepared curriculum. They complete a training program where they are mentored by master trainers. An essential element to these six-session workshops is that they are held in community-based settings, such as senior centers, faith-based organizations and libraries, with most led by certified and trained community coaches rather than medical professionals.

The upcoming Community Coaches Training will take place in West Union on Aug. 13, 14, 15, 20 and 21 from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. each day at the Adams County Senior Center, 10835 SR 41. Those who are interested must attend all five days in order to be certified to lead the programs. Attendees will be provided with in-depth information needed to conduct the workshops and receive the materials at no cost. As all workshops are designed to be facilitated by two trainers, it is strongly suggested that you bring someone with you that you prefer to lead the classes with you.

A pre-screening is required of all applicants who express an interest in serving as a community coach. For more information about registering for the training, call Carla Cox at 1-800-528-7277, ext. 284, or Jennifer Atkinson at ext. 247.

The Area Agency on Aging District 7, Inc. provides services on a non-discriminatory basis. These services are available to help older adults and those with disabilities live safely and independently in their own homes through services paid for by Medicare, Medicaid, other federal and state resources, as well as private pay. The AAA7’s Resource Center is also available to anyone in the community looking for information or assistance with longterm care options. Available Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. until 4:30 p.m., the Resource Center is a valuable contact for learning more about options and what programs and services are available for assistance.

Those interested in learning more can call toll-free at 1-800-582-7277 (TTY: 711). Information is also available on, or the agency can be contacted through email at [email protected] or on Facebook page at

Submitted by Jenni Dovyak-Lewis, director of community outreach and training, Area Agency on Aging District 7, Inc.

Don Davis currently serves as a community coach for the AAA7 wellness programs in Scioto County. Davis currently serves as a community coach for the AAA7 wellness programs in Scioto County.

Submitted story