Spanish Speaking Volunteers Sought for Senior Health Care Program

Tomando Control de su SaludWestchester County Executive Robert P. Astorino has announced that the county is seeking Spanish-speaking volunteers to teach workshops that will help seniors manage chronic conditions such as arthritis, diabetes, high blood pressure, depression and heart disease. A medical background is not needed.

“I encourage all Spanish-speaking adults to consider giving their time to this worthwhile program,” Astorino said. “It is a terrific way to contribute to the community and help seniors live healthier lives.”

The free program is called “Tomando Control de su Salud” (Take control of your health). It is the Spanish version of the Livable Communities Chronic Disease Self-Management Program (CDSMP), which is taught in English and has become increasingly popular since the county Department of Senior Programs and Services (DSPS) introduced it in Westchester several years ago.

Tomando empowers seniors to enhance their quality of life through a better understanding of why physical activity, healthy eating and stress management are so important.

They also learn how to correctly use their medications and improve communications with their health care providers and family. The program is not a substitute for a senior’s healthcare provider; rather, it helps to enhance better health outcomes.

CDSMP was developed by the Division of Family and Community Medicine at Stanford University’s School of Medicine and is taught today in 30 states and 15 countries.

The volunteers will follow the model teaching program from Stanford and also receive additional training to lead discussions to help seniors gain insights into their health-related behaviors.

Prospective volunteers must commit to four days of training from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. to become certified, and must agree to co-lead at least two workshops a year.
The workshops take place at community-based locations in Westchester such as houses of worship, senior centers and housing developments. They are held one day per week for six consecutive weeks and each session is 2 ½ hours.

DSPS Commissioner Mae Carpenter said when seniors take care of their health their quality of life vastly improves.

“I hope many people will volunteer,” she said. “Tomando is such a valuable program.”

For more information, please contact Rebecca Bent at (914) 813-6263 or rqbe@westchestergov.com

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