The six-week programme, to be offered in Geraldine for the first time from August 2, would provide participants with information, support and encouragement to help improve health, fitness and wellbeing.
The South Canterbury District Health Board initiative, called multicondition rehabilitation, is available to anyone over the age of 18, who has a long-term chronic condition, ranging from cardiac to respiratory, arthritis and weight problems, among many others.
Participants could have one or many conditions, SCDHB physiotherapist Pam Russell said.
Multi-condition rehabilitation was already offered in Timaru and Waimate. It had also been offered in Temuka, but facilitators discovered many of those attending the Temuka sessions were travelling from Geraldine to take part.
‘‘We wanted to make it more accessible in the local community — that was the plan, so it’s now in Geraldine,’’ Ms Russell said.
Participants would learn exercises and relaxation techniques in each session.
A community health team professional would also take part of the session on a specialty topic. For example, a pharmacist would talk about the importance of taking medication and a dietitian would talk about food.
The free sessions would take place twice a week and participants would be encouraged to attend both to reap the full benefits, Ms Russell said.
Community cardiology clinical specialist nurse Liz Godwin said the concept was about keeping people well in their community.
‘‘It’s about keeping people well in their home; and selfmanagement, which reduces hospital admission,’’ she said.
‘‘The benefit is they learn from each other.’’ – For a referral go to your GP or practice nurse, or phone (03) 687-2100 ext 8916.