Chronic Condition Definition

What is a chronic health condition? It is a medical condition that has lasted or is expected to last more than six months. Chances are, you, or someone you know is living with a chronic health condition. In fact, 80% of adults over 65 have at least one chronic health condition. An NCOA blog lists ten common chronic conditions as follows:

  1. High Blood Pressure
  2. High Cholesterol
  3. Arthritis
  4. Coronary Heart Disease
  5. Diabetes
  6. Chronic Kidney Disease
  7. Heart Failure
  8. Depression
  9. Alzheimer’s Disease and Other Dementia
  10. Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)

Many of these chronic conditions are manageable with efforts such as regular exercise, stopping habits such as smoking, making different dietary choices, managing stress, and proper medication management.

Stages of a Chronic Condition

Chronic conditions sometimes progress through stages and depending on the stage a different approach may be required. The stages can be:

  • Well (with no condition)
  • At risk
  • Undiagnosed
  • Diagnosed
  • High risk and complex
  • Advanced

Help with Managing your Chronic Condition

When you are first diagnosed, you may not know where to start or perhaps you have been trying to make changes for some time, but aren’t seeing the affects you hoped for. Attending a Chronic Disease Self-Management Workshop in your area may help. These classes aren’t taught by doctors. They are taught by people like you who have one or more chronic conditions. So, they know first-hand what many of the challenges can be. In these classes you can get tips for self-care and learn how to communicate with family, friends, and doctors. They are taught in a small group setting that is encouraging and supportive.

Elder Options, your Area Agency on Aging, hosts and sponsors Chronic Disease Self-Management workshops, to find out more call the Elder Helpline at 1-800-262-2243.

““It is one thing to hear it from a doctor, but it’s easier to swallow hearing it from people who have been through the same thing as myself.” 

A Workshop Participant