If you have an ongoing medical condition which you take medication for or would like to find out more about how you can look after your health generally, Self Care can help.
Members of the public and patients can take control of their health and wellbeing by finding out about the information and support that is available to help them self care.
Self care means looking after yourself in a healthy way. Anyone living with a long term health condition such as cancer, heart disease, asthma, diabetes, parkinson’s, may have extra things they need to consider such as making changes to their diet, different types of exercise or different types of medication to take. Self care also means staying active and doing activities which are important to you such as gardening, seeing friends and family, going on holiday and continuing to work if possible. It involves looking at what you can do and want to do rather than what you can't do.
It is estimated around 45,000 people on the Island live with a long term health condition. Heather Rowell, the Island’s NHS Health Promotion Specialist for Adults and Older People says: “Most people want to look after their own health and those with a long term condition tend to be experts in their own care but some still do not understand their condition or are unsure when and why they take their medicines. People can benefit enormously from being supported to self care. They can live longer, suffer less pain, anxiety, depression and fatigue, have a better quality of life and be more active and independent.”
The following information and support is readily available to anyone on the Island living with a long term health condition:
Help and advice for living life well with a long term conditionIf you or someone you know is living with a long term condition, you'll know that sometimes life's not easy. Being in control means greater confidence and better health and wellbeing. A long term condition can be anything from asthma to multiple sclerosis. Click here to download a leaflet (pictured right) which contains information and advice about the support available.
Click here to download a leaflet (pictured left) which explains to those with long term conditions what they should expect from personalised care planning and their care plan. This might also include parents who have a child with a long term condition.
Information Prescriptions is available on the NHS Choices website at www.nhs.uk and the IW Council ‘One Link’ site at www.iwight.com An Information Prescription can be generated by professionals and members of the public to include information on a number of conditions, treatments available, local services and support groups, and other information to help manage the condition.
Ask your Pharmacist
The Isle of Wight has a well developed network of community pharmacies. Pharmacists have an important role in helping the public with everyday health problems. Your local pharmacist can give you help and advice about your health and wellbeing, particularly if you have a long term condition. More information can be found at www.askyourpharmacist.co.uk or on the NHS Isle of Wight website. To find your nearest pharmacy search at www.nhs.uk.
A Health Trainer is someone in your local area who can offer practical ideas, support and information, and can work with you on a one-to-one basis to help you improve your health and wellbeing. It is a free, confidential and locally accessible service. For more information contact the Health Trainer Service on 550386.
The Expert Patient Programme is a free, confidential course for people with long-term health problems such as Diabetes, Coronary Heart Disease (CHD), Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), Asthma. It encourages people to play a more active part in managing their own condition and take control of their illness to improve their quality of life. It also gives people the opportunity to learn new skills and discuss the issues that bother them most about their health in a relaxed and friendly environment. The courses are held locally and are tailored to the needs of the people who attend. For more information, freephone 0800 988 5520.
Talking to others
Local support groups, networks and help lines are available to everyone, whatever their condition. Support groups help people to share their experiences with others in similar positions and help them feel less alone. You can find out about these groups by looking on the ‘One Link’ website www.iwight.com, or asking your health care professional.