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Staying healthy as you age can be a challenge.  We can help.  Our programs give older adults the knowledge and tools to prevent falls, manage chronic conditions, and improve their lives.    
The following programs are available to help you learn about managing conditions such as arthritis, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, asthma and heart disease:

  • Better Choices, Better Health (CDSMP) is a six-week Chronic Disease Self-Management Program that provides tools for living a healthy life with chronic health conditions.  Through six weekly sessions, the program provides support for continuing normal daily activities and dealing with the emotions that chronic conditions may bring about.  This program was developed by Stanford University and is also available in Spanish: Tomando Control de su Salud.
  • Walk With Ease (WWE) is a six-week program developed to encourage people with arthritis and other chronic diseases to get started walking and to stay motivated.    The program focuses on motivational strategies including action planning, goal setting and social support and provides participants with information, tips and tools needed to develop a safe exercise routine that fits their unique needs and goals.  This program can either be held in a group setting or can be self-directed. 
  • Arthritis Foundation Exercise Program (AFEP) is a community based group exercise program developed by the Arthritis Foundation that can be modified to accommodate different levels of capability and can be done either standing or sitting.  The class is led by a trained instructor who leads participants through endurance-building activities, balance exercises, relaxation techniques and health education.
  • EnhanceFitness is a community based group exercise program designed to help older adults at all levels of fitness (from fit to frail) become more active, energized and empowered to sustain independent living.  The class is led by certified EnhanceFitness instructors and meets three times a week for one hour. 

Start taking an active role by paying attention to your physical and emotional health – in short, your whole self.  Enroll in a Live Healthy South Carolina program today by calling SCDHEC at 1-866-899-3663 to see what is available in your area.

We are always looking for individuals who would like to volunteer as a lay leader to facilitate one or more of these programs.  If you are interested, please call 1-866-899-3663.


Frequently Asked Questions about Evidence-Based Programs

What is an Evidence-Based Program (EBP)?
Programs that are based on scientific evidence and demonstrated to improve the health of older adults.  Various programs have proven to:
• Reduce the pain and discomfort of arthritis
• Increase balance, strength and walking pace
• Build confidence in your ability to be physically active
• Improve overall health (fatigue, shortness of breath, depression, pain, stress, and sleep problems) and quality of life
• Improve communication with doctors, medication compliance, and health literacy

Are evidence-based chronic disease self-management workshop/programs successful?
Yes.  The way the programs are taught makes them effective.  Workshops are highly effective when facilitated by community members with chronic conditions.  Classes are very participative, where mutual support and success build participants’ confidence in their ability to manage their health and maintain active and fulfilling lives.

What is the primary purpose of the workshops?
Workshops build skills that help people dealing with chronic conditions learn to better manage their condition and their life.  Classes are beneficial for individuals even if they have been coping with their condition for many years.

Who can attend a workshop series?
Anyone with a chronic condition that has a desire to learn coping skills and better manage their lives is welcome to attend.  Caregivers are also invited to attend as workshop participants. 

What are some of the most common chronic conditions?  
• Arthritis
• Cancer
• Diabetes
• Heart disease
• High blood pressure
• Multiple sclerosis
• Stroke
• Osteoporosis
• Chronic pain
• Breathing problems
• Weight concerns
• Emotional or mental conditions

Where can I get more information on the conditions above?
Two reliable places to start are:
• Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)  
• U.S. National Library of Medicine – Medline Plus  

Why should I attend one of the Live Healthy SC workshops?
To find ways to make better choices and have better health!  You’ll learn self-management and coping skills to help you better understand the effects and emotions chronic conditions may have on your lifestyle.  You will also learn disease related decision-making and problem-solving skills.  However, one of the most important outcomes is that you’ll become more confident in how you manage your condition through practice activities and group feedback.

What topics do the sessions cover?
The emphasis is not to teach you more about chronic conditions, but rather to help you learn the skills and tools to better manage those conditions.  Depending on the program, the following skills are covered:
• Using your mind to manage your symptoms
• Communicating with friends, family, and providers
• Dealing with anger, depression, and other difficult emotions
• Designing and maintaining a healthy eating and exercise plan
• Managing pain and fatigue
• Goal setting, problem solving, and coping
• Relaxing and stress management skills
• Appropriate use of medications

How long do the workshop series last?
Most programs last for 6 weeks and classes meet anywhere from 1-3 times a week, depending on the program. 

Where and when are the workshops held?
Weekly sessions are typically held in the community at facilities like senior centers, churches, libraries, and service organizations.  The location, day of week and time of day will vary from workshop to workshop.  Call 1-866-899-3663 to locate sessions in your area.

Who Should Consider Becoming a Lay Leader? 
Lay Leader Training is available for persons affected by chronic conditions including patients, family members, caregivers, and lay volunteers.  Leaders are not necessarily healthcare professionals.  Leaders are individuals interested in learning how to better manage their chronic conditions, live a healthy life, and share this knowledge with others to positively self-manage their chronic conditions by leading workshops.


  • 1301 Gervais Street, Suite 350, Columbia, SC 29201
  • Local: (803) 734-9900
  • Toll Free: 1-800-868-9095