Chronic Disease Self-Management Program (CDSMP)

About 80 percent of older adults have at least one chronic disease, and 68 percent have at least two. Many adults with conditions such as arthritis, asthma, diabetes, lung disease, heart disease, stroke, and osteoporosis struggle to find ways to manage their condition(s). The Chronic Disease Self-Management Program can help.

Chronic Disease Self-Management Program (CDSMP) workshops are designed to help people gain self-confidence in their ability to control their symptoms and learn how their health problems affect their lives.

Programs feature the following:

  • Small-group workshops — 12 to 16 participants
  • 2.5 hours of time per session
  • One session per week, for six weeks
  • Community settings such as senior centers, places of worship, provider offices, libraries, and hospitals
  • Rooms large enough for all participants to gather comfortably, plus space for two leaders and their materials
  • Accessible locations

People with different chronic health conditions attend together to:

  • Develop weekly action plans based on their needs
  • Share experiences
  • Help each other solve problems they encounter in creating and carrying out their self-management program

Sessions are highly interactive and led by professionals.

Sessions focus on building skills, sharing experiences, and offering support. All programs are led by a team of professional lay leaders. Lay leaders are people from the community who have experience in dealing with the same difficulties as those who are participating in the programs. They have received comprehensive in-person training to deliver the program content from a highly detailed manual.

Self-management programs will not conflict with existing programs or treatments.

Programs are designed to enhance regular treatment and disease-specific education that is often provided through accredited programs in hospital settings. The programs are designed to help people gain self-confidence in their ability to control their symptoms, and to control how their health problems affect their lives. These programs have been rigorously evaluated and are found to be effective tools to help people with chronic health conditions. In addition, many people have more than one chronic condition. Self-management programs are especially helpful for them, as the programs give participants the skills to coordinate all the tools they need to manage their health and stay active in their lives.

Existing treatments are not altered. If the content of the course conflicts with instructions that participants receive elsewhere, they are advised to follow their health care provider’s orders. For medical questions, participants are referred to their health care provider.


To register for a free six-week self-management program, please browse our offerings below.

The classes below are listed from New Castle County to Sussex County

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