All About A.W.A.K.E.
A.W.A.K.E. stands for Alert, Well, And Keeping Energetic. Its education and support groups are available in nearly every state, helping people face to face and free of charge. A.W.A.K.E. gives people with sleep apnea the tools to manage their own health care successfully. Our searchable A.W.A.K.E. database can help you find a group near you.
A.W.A.K.E. groups work by:
- combating isolation,
- providing patients with information and a chance to digest it,
- and presenting opportunities to think out problems and ask questions.
This process helps patients stick with treatment and make it work for them. People who haven’t been diagnosed or treated are also welcome.
Patient volunteers and health professionals work together to coordinate groups. These coordinators find experts to speak on a range of subjects such as new research, the nuances of various treatment devices, or losing weight with sleep apnea. Each local group determines how often to meet: monthly, bimonthly, or quarterly. Five experienced coordinators were asked a while ago to name their 10 top meeting topics. Here’s what they came up with.
Each meeting also includes a support segment, in which participants can:
- think out loud about how they might apply what they’ve learned,
- be heard by the group about how sleep apnea has affected them,
- or ask for advice.
Patients usually start out focusing on their own individual situation. But as their knowledge grows and their health improves, A.W.A.K.E. participants may make wider goals such as shepherding family members through the diagnostic process or educating the public about sleep apnea. Seeing that their struggle is a shared one and learning to tell their stories in a safe, confidential environment prepares patients to tell their stories publicly.
A.W.A.K.E. supports the goals that patients choose. Search the A.W.A.K.E. database and check out a group near you.
Thinking about starting an A.W.A.K.E. group? We encourage patients and health professionals to team up in the leadership of new groups. View our page For Potential A.W.A.K.E. Coordinators for more information.