Senior Center hosts health seminar

Published 7:00 am Friday, June 17, 2016

Picayune’s Senior Center is currently hosting a chronic disease self-management seminar for senior citizens.

The center is partnering with the Southern Mississippi Planning and Development District to teach senior citizens techniques that can help them manage chronic illnesses and maintain their healthy, independent lifestyles.

Chrissy Wilburn, a case manager with SMPDD, is leading the class.

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“I am a social worker by profession and by life’s choice. It just led me to this field,” said Wilburn.

The chronic disease classes are funded by the state of Mississippi and the SMPDD Area Agency on Aging, said Wilburn.

“Even if they do have a chronic disease they don’t have to give up, they can still live a fulfilling great life,” said Darlene Adams, executive director of the Senior Center of South Pearl River County.

During the presentation, Wilburn discusses chronic health problems, such as hypertension, diabetes, allergies, and arthritis, with members of the community and how it has affected their lives, daily routines, and relationships.

“I enjoy seeing other people empowered and older people living individual, active and healthy lives,” said Wilburn.

SMPDD is traveling to the lower 15 counties in Mississippi to teach senior members of the community how to self-manage their chronic diseases.

The seminar, like the one being offered at the Senior Center, meets once a week and is designed for small groups, said Adams.

As part of a campaign to promote self-management, these classes cover healthy eating, weight management, emotions, and how to communicate with doctors and other healthcare providers.

“It makes a healthier Mississippi and supports the common goal of the Department of Health,” said Wilburn. “I see the people benefit.”

“We think it is important because here at the center we are all about our seniors living and being their best selves,” said Adams.

The Senior Center offers other seminars from different state agencies throughout the year to promote independence and education, said Adams.

“The center is always looking for opportunities to educate our seniors,” said Adams.

SMPDD also teaches diabetes self-management classes, which aim to maintain and improve the individual lifestyles of those diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, according to SMPDD.

The current session at the Senior Center is full. To find out when the seminar will be held at other locations, contact Chrissy Wilburn at SMPDD at 228-868-2311 or

About Julia Arenstam

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