The support available for anyone living with a long-term health condition is being promoted during Self Care Week (November 13-19).
The theme of this year’s event is Embracing Self Care for Life and aims to help people understand how to live with a condition and the importance of staying in good general health.
The Department of Health and Social Care’s Live Well – Stay Well programme is designed for anyone over the age of 18 who lives with a long term health condition, and encourages people to manage it by developing and applying new skills.
The free courses are held across the Island and involve six weekly sessions, each lasting around two and half hours. To reserve a place on the next course, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 486641.
Ann Corkill, Live Well – Stay Well Programme Manager, said: ‘It can be difficult to come to terms with being diagnosed with a long-term health condition, so supporting people as early as possible after diagnosis or as activities start to become more difficult is vital.
‘The Live Well – Stay Well programme has already helped over a hundred people with a wide range of conditions, including: arthritis, asthma, chronic pain, diabetes, epilepsy, heart failure and high blood pressure. It emphasises developing new self-care skills, such as improving communication with those around you, ways of coping with pain and fatigue, the importance of maintaining a well-balanced diet and exercise, and identifying the need to plan for the future.
‘People also gain more confidence in managing their condition by meeting others who are experiencing similar difficulties in a helpful and supportive environment.’
The Live Well – Stay Well programme is provided by trained volunteers, who themselves have a long term health condition and understand the difficulties and situations that can bring. The volunteers have completed a training course with accreditation under licence from Stanford University in the USA, and they are supported by health care professionals.
Ann continued: ‘An evaluation of the programme has highlighted the enormous benefits participants received from completing the course.
‘From these questionnaires, 92% of respondents felt more positive about living with their long-term health condition since completing the course. Problem solving, communication with family, friends and healthcare professionals, and healthy eating were also reported to have improved.’
As the programme has developed, a Looking After Me course has also been established which is based on the same principles as Live Well – Stay Well but is aimed at carers, who sometimes neglect their own health needs. For more information and to book a place, contact Ann Corkill, Senior Nurse Self Care, Community Health Services, by calling 811830 or email email@example.com.