NI Chest Heart & Stroke is running a new health programme in the Colin Glen area of west Belfast designed to improve the quality of life for people living with the serious lung disease, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease or COPD.
NI Chest Heart and Stroke estimates that 80,000 people in Northern Ireland are living with COPD and it can have a devastating effect on the quality of life. COPD – an umbrella term for conditions including bronchitis and emphysema – cannot be cured but it can be treated and managed, and the earlier it is caught, the better. Now, the charity’s Taking Control Self–Management Programme aims to give people in the Colin Glen area with COPD the skills to coordinate all the things needed to manage their health, as well as to help them keep active in their lives.
Pauline Millar, NI Chest Heart and Stroke’s Respiratory Support Co–ordinator in Belfast, said: “This programme provides information and techniques for dealing with problems of COPD, such as frustration, pain, fatigue and isolation. For example, increased activity and better nutrition can make a marked difference to someone’s physical and mental well being. We teach relaxation techniques and how to cope with feelings of depression. Another key aspect is developing more effective communication with health professionals, family and others.”
“It’s important to point out that the programme does not conflict with any existing treatment. Instead, it aims to help people develop new skills and techniques that can help them to live with their condition. It’s also about working with others. When friends and family know how you are feeling, suddenly you are no longer alone in dealing with you health condition.”
The Programme also offers participants the opportunity to meet and share with others who are going through similar day–to–day experiences. At the end of it, people have reported marked improvements in their quality of life. After a previous Programme, one participant told the charity: “When I started the Programme I was at a very low ebb. I didn’t want to come out and had to force myself to attend the group. I can honestly say that I now feel I am getting my life back on track and feel much more confident and in control.”
The Programme will commence on Wednesday 5th October, 10.30am – 1pm in Brook Activity Centre, Summerhill Rd, Twinbrook and runs every Wednesday for six consecutive weeks. To book a FREE place or for further information, please call Pauline Millar on 0784 115 0949.