Volunteers needed for workshops

LABELLE — The Area Agency on Aging for Southwest Florida (AAASWFL) is seeking volunteers to lead workshops to help seniors in Glades and Hendry counties manage their chronic conditions. Free training is provided to volunteers who wish to be trained to lead the Stanford-designed Chronic Disease Self-Management Program (CDSMP).

Living with a chronic condition such as diabetes, arthritis, high blood pressure, heart disease, pain or anxiety can be a daily challenge. The CDSMP is an evidence-based exercise program designed to help older adults and adults with disabilities to make a step-by-step plan to improve their health and their lives. AAASWFL has received grant funding to offer these workshops in six Southwest Florida counties, including Glades and Hendry.

AAASWFL will provide a free four-day training for volunteers willing to commit to leading CDSMP workshops on the agency’s behalf. The agency also reimburses mileage for all volunteer-related travel. Dates and locations for the training have not yet been scheduled.

AAASWFL volunteers should be at least 18 years of age, have a valid drivers’ license, and must be able to pass a background screening. While not mandatory, experience with teaching, instruction, public speaking, health care, nutrition, or community outreach is helpful. The ideal CDSMP volunteer also has experience with chronic conditions, either personally or as a care provider.

In 2018, AAASWFL staff and volunteers led 25 health and wellness workshops across Southwest Florida, assisting more than 425 individuals.

Potential volunteers may contact Sherry Young, AAASWFL Health & Wellness Coordinator, through the Elder Helpline at (866) 413-5337 (866-41-ELDER) or by emailing sherry.young@aaaswfl.org for more information. Volunteer applications can also be found at the AAASWFL website: www.aaaswfl.org.

Funding for the Chronic Disease Self-Management Program is provided by a grant from the U.S. Administration for Community Living through the Florida Department of Elder Affairs.

Currently celebrating its 40th anniversary, the Area Agency on Aging for Southwest Florida is a nonprofit organization serving Charlotte, Collier, DeSoto, Glades, Hendry, Lee, and Sarasota counties. The organization is committed to connecting older adults (ages 60 and over) and people with disabilities to resources and assistance for living safely with independence and dignity. AAASWFL is the state’s designated Aging and Disability Resource Center for Southwest Florida. More information is available by visiting the AAASWFL website (www.aaaswfl.org) or by calling the Elder Helpline: 866-413-5337.

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