The Hamilton Senior Center will host a free program to teach health management skills to adults beginning Feb. 17.
“Health Care Choices: Be Wise” will be offered on four Fridays in February and March. The program will be taught by doctors leading the Montana State University College of Nursing and focus on improving general health, knowledge of over-the-counter natural products and making good health decisions.
The program is open to adults of any age.
John Humphries, president of the Hamilton Senior Center, said the program is educational.
“They are going talk about replacing prescription drugs with natural items and health products and how to determine which ones are good for you and so forth,” Humphries said. “It is being put on by a grant from the school of nursing and is free to whoever wants to attend.”
Dr. Jean Shreffler-Grant said the project is funded by the National Institutes of Health and the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health.
The classes are designed for active participation and last an hour to an hour and a half every other week.
“It will start Feb. 17 and they ask that if you join and sign up for it that you commit to the four classes,” Humphries said.
The first class is an overview of the program, information about health literacy and participants will be asked to complete a survey about basic health information. The second and third sessions will provide information to make wise choices about over-the-counter dietary supplements and herbal products and how to find and evaluate health information. At the fourth presentation, participants will learn how to communicate better with health care providers, complete a second survey and make an evaluation of the program.
Six months later participants will receive a brief survey, by mail, to evaluate the program.
Shreffler-Grant said the program is designed to help adults understand health care choices and avoid risky or harmful decisions. Participants will learn how to be wise managers of their health, will receive resources to take home including a “Talking with Your Doctor” booklet and a “My Health Companion” tool to keep track of health information.
By hosting the program the Hamilton Senior Center will keep the new media equipment used in the presentations.
“This is for our benefit,” Humphries said. “They are donating all the equipment that they had to buy to do it at the center.”
The “Health Care Choices: Be Wise” classes will be held 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. on Feb. 17, March 3, March 17 and March 31, at the Hamilton Senior Center, 820 N. Fourth St. Hamilton. The center has a goal of 25 participants and the signup sheet is filling up quickly. Register by stopping by or by calling Jim Humphries at 406-375-5478.