Self care for long-term conditions
Did you know that if you are living with a long-term condition, you will spend, on average, six hours a year with a healthcare professional and the remaining 8,754 hours managing your health for yourself?
Living with a long-term condition brings challenges and it’s important to have the confidence, support and information to manage your health. Self care can help you make the most of living with your condition, rather than avoiding or missing out on things because of it. Self care puts you in control.
Research shows that people with long-term conditions who take more control of their health feel more able to cope with their health problem, have better pain management, fewer flare ups and more energy.
Tips for living with a long-term condition
NHS Choices has created some practical tips on living with a long-term condition. To download a leaflet that explains these in more detail, click here:
Accept you have a persistent health condition...and then begin to move on
Get involved – building a support team
Pacing – pacing your daily activities
Learn to prioritise and plan your days
Setting goals/action plans
Being patient with yourself
Learn relaxation skills
Keep a diary and track your progress
Have a plan for set-backs
Team work – work with your practice team
Keeping it up
Find out more about self care for long-term conditions
There are a range of free courses aimed at helping people who are living with a long-term condition to manage their condition better on a daily basis:
The Expert Patients Programme – click here for information
DAFNE (Dose Adjustment for Normal Eating) and DESMOND (Diabetes Education and Self Management for Ongoing and Newly Diagnosed) for people with diabetes
Breathe Easy for people with asthma – click here for information
These courses usually run over several sessions and will provide advice and tools to put you in control of your condition. Ask your GP or the receptionist for details of courses in this area or visit NHS Choices. Click here for more information.
The following websites provide good information that can help you understand more about the common condition or long-term health problem that affects you:
Map of Medicine on NHS Choices