Patient & Family Resource Blog

How to Manage Chronic Conditions

Senior man with knee arthritis trying to get up from chair and caring wife


Living with a condition for which there seems to be little relief makes leading a fulfilling live very challenging. According to the Centers for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC), almost half of all adults have a chronic disease or condition. These include heart disease, cancer, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, arthritis, and even obesity. Here are some tips to help mitigate the challenges of living with chronic pain or discomfort.

Explore exercise options

While many exercise options aren’t available to those with arthritis, Parkinson’s or heart disease, there is almost certainly some form of physical activity you can participate in. One exercise that continues to gain popularity is tai chi. It’s a low-impact exercise that is gentle on the joints, can be performed anywhere, and requires no expensive equipment. And almost everyone can participate – there are even tai chi routines for wheelchair users. And finally, it has many health benefits, including pain reduction. A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine found that people living with fibromyalgia who participated in tai chi classes twice a week for 12 weeks reported less pain than the control group, who participated in stretching sessions and wellness education twice a week.


Mindful meditation has been shown to help in pain reduction and even reducing the risk of death, heart attack and stroke in heart patients. For many people, meditation produces a trance-like state, which allows your body to relax, a condition highly conducive to cell regeneration, blood flow and heart rate. This relaxed state allows the blood to do its work, cleansing the body of pathogens, which can be responsible for many chronic conditions.

Put yourself first

Many people with spouses and/or children often put their needs above their own. But for people suffering from a chronic condition, it’s important to take care of yourself first. A flight attendant will instruct you to put your mask on before assisting others. The same advice applies here. Take care of yourself so you will be better able to participate in the lives of your family.

Be willing to share your feelings with others

Let others know what frustrations, fears and concerns you’re facing. First, bottling up your emotions can cause further health consequences, according to a study conducted by the Harvard School of Public Health and the University of Rochester. Second, sharing your feelings with family and friends will allow them the opportunity to provide meaningful assistance.

Stay positive

Positive thinking doesn’t mean you ignore the challenges you’re facing – it simply means you approach those challenges in a more productive and positive way. For instance, if you get a devastating diagnosis, start planning now for ways that changes now can provide a better outlook down the road. Taking an active part in creating a better future will prove more beneficial than giving up and accepting a life that is less than optimal. A study by the American Heart Association showed that heart patients with positive attitudes tended to live longer.

 Get help from a home health professional

A Blize Home Health professional can provide assistance in disease management, which may include medications, physical therapy or other forms of rehabilitation. A private duty in-home caregiver can assist with personal care and daily tasks such as meal preparation, light housekeeping and providing transportation to appointments. Whatever challenging you’re facing the professionals at Blize can help you lead a more fulfilling life.

Categories: Senior Health