5 Ways to Make a Difference on Chronic Disease Awareness Day
On July 10, 2017, states and cities across the country, including in Texas, Nevada, Washington, Florida, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and New York issued official proclamations to commemorate Chronic Disease Awareness Day.
Seven out of every 10 deaths in the U.S. are caused by chronic illness., according to the Centers for Disease Control. Not all chronic diseases result from lifestyle choices and behavior, but the ones that do cost us dearly. The most common chronic disease conditions, like cardiovascular disease, stroke, cancer, type 2 diabetes and obesity, are also the most avoidable. Even though many diseases are not preventable, people with chronic illness need to be accountable too.
As a nation, we need to decrease the rate of avoidable hospitalizations, spend more time being active, and adopt healthier eating habits.
Awareness, prevention and personal accountability can reduce the number of chronic disease related deaths. Anyone and everyone can pitch in. Here are five ways you can make a difference on Chronic Disease Awareness Day:
1. Offer support to a person with chronic illness you know. Everyday tasks can be difficult to manage with chronic illness. It is nearly a guarantee that one or more of your family or friends suffer from a chronic disease. One in four Americans have multiple chronic conditions that require ongoing medical attention or limit daily living. That number rises to three in four Americans aged 65 and up.
2. Commit to one simple lifestyle change, such as daily 30 minute walks, eating more vegetables and whole grains, or smoking and alcohol cessation. It can drastically reduce your risk of contracting a chronic disease.
3. Post messages of encouragement and love for chronic illness sufferers on social media using the hashtags: #CDAware or #CDADay.
4. Engage community leaders about access to community fitness opportunities, local farmers’ markets, and active routes to schools like bike and walking paths. Local townships and regional municipalities are often easy to contact online, and your request will remind local leaders that it’s important.
5. Even though not all diseases are preventable, chronic disease sufferers need to be accountable too. Stanford University has developed a Chronic Disease Self-Management Program that helps establish the skills necessary to manage self-health. Adults who feel confident handling a chronic illness often live longer, happier lives.
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