Self Care is an integral part of daily life and is all about individuals taking responsibility for their own health and wellbeing, with support from their health and social care professionals. It includes the actions people take every day in order to stay fit and maintain good physical and mental health, meet their social and psychological needs, prevents illness or accidents, and care more effectively for minor ailments and long term conditions.
For the majority of people with long term conditions, effective self management has led to an improved quality of life, better compliance with medical interventions/treatments and more appropriate use of services. Self care benefits not only the patient but also the health care professional across the health economy generally.
People with long term conditions want to live as normal life as is possible and many are experts on their conditions. NHS Somerset aims to empower these patients to manage their own care through the skills of both Primary, Intermediate and Secondary care staff.
The Self Care Strategy aims to promote the development of self care for people with a long term condition through engagement with healthcare professionals and people with long term conditions to promote self care strategies and options.
People say they want to look after their own health and most people with a long term condition tend to be experts in their own care. However some still do not understand their condition or are unsure when and why they take their medicines. People need to take the time to understand their condition and to ask questions when they are not sure.
The E's of Self Management for Long Term Conditions is an information sheet aimed to help change behaviour to improve outcomes for people with long term conditions.
For further information on self care, visit www.nhs.uk/selfcare
Self Care Week, 15-21 November 2010
Self Care Week aims to raise awareness of the information and resources available to help the public and especially those with a long term condition take control of their own health and wellbeing. It will make people aware of the support available and encourage them to take a more active role in decisions about their care.
There are resources available to healthcare professionals to promote Self Care and Self Care Week. The information pack provides information on the week, key messages and what else is happening nationally and locally during the week.
NHS Somerset is running two FREE half day interactive workshops for health and social care professionals. Self Care for Carers and Self Care for Pain will help support your work with carers and patients in pain.
Please click here for a learning to live well poster which can be used in the community and by patient groups. The poster contains a useful link for patients to access information on self care. The learning to live well information sheet also provides a range of information on self care.