What is self care?
Self care is about looking after yourself in a healthy way. It can be anything from brushing your teeth, doing some exercise, managing common conditions (like headaches, colds and flu) or living with a long-term health problem, such as asthma, depression or diabetes.
Find out more about self care
If you need more information on how you can self care at home, click on the links:
- Self care for healthy living
- Self care for common conditions
- Self care for long-term conditions
- NHS Choices symptom checker
- Self care for mental well-being
Self care for healthy living
Staying healthy is important for everyone, even if you are living with a long-term condition. This means eating healthily, exercising regularly, quitting smoking and drinking in moderation.
The Office of Public Health runs many different lifestyle services to support you to live a healthy lifestyle. For more information click here.
|If you are not sure what changes you can make to help improve your health, NHS Choices offers a LifeCheck. Just answer a few simple questions and LifeCheck can give you advice on what changes may help you. Click here for a LifeCheck.|
Find out more about self care for healthy living in Dudley
There are lots of local services in Dudley to help you on your way to better self care. Click on the links to find out more.
|I want to lose weight|
|I want to stop smoking|
|I want to get fit|
|I want to drink less alcohol
|I want to manage my mental health and well-being
|I want to find out about activities, clubs, support, health services in Dudley Borough
Self care for common conditions
Did you know that one in five GP visits are for common conditions, such as backache, headache or cough?
For most people, they are not serious health problem – you just want to know how to relieve it and you want a treatment that acts fast. You also want to know how long you’re going to suffer or what you should do if your symptoms change.
The good news is that self care can help you manage most of these problems. It may mean you don’t have to spend time waiting to see your GP but can get on and start tackling your symptoms. Self care for common conditions can also help free up some of your GP’s time, making it easier to get an appointment when you have a more serious condition.
Pharmacies in Dudley can help with self care by providing information, advice and over the counter medication. They provide Medicine Use Reviews (MURs) for people on long term medication and a New Medicines Service which is offered to people starting on new medication. In Dudley we also have a number of Healthy Living Pharmacies which are committed to the promotion of healthy lifestyles by providing advice, support and many services such as Stop Smoking, Alcohol Interventions and Chlamydia Screening.
You can find out more about Healthy Living Pharmacies here
Find out more about self care for common conditions
The Self Care Forum has produced Fact-sheets to help you take care of the most common ailments. These provide useful facts about your condition, what you can expect to happen, how to help yourself, when you should see your GP and where to find out more information. Research shows people using these Fact-sheets felt more able to manage their common condition.
|Click on the link for the Factsheet you need:|
- Low back pain
- Children’s fever
- Cough (adults)
- Sprains and strains
- Sore throat
For information on other common conditions, visit the NHS Choices or Patient UK websites. If you are not sure about your symptoms, click here for the NHS Choices symptom checker where you can get advice on what to do next.
If you need more advice or you are unsure what the right thing for you to do is, ask your pharmacist for advice or call the surgery to speak to a doctor or make an appointment to discuss your problem further.
Self care for long-term conditions
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.
We are committed to helping you live your life with a long-term condition.
For people living with any type of long term condition we run the Expert Patients Programme
|Locally, you can also access all kinds of self management advice for the following specific conditions;|
Talk to your GP, nurse or specialist and become a partner in creating your own care plan. It’s important to think about what you want from a care plan – it can help if you know what you want to discuss with your GP. NHS Choices suggests some questions you could ask:
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
|The following websites provide good information that can help you understand more about the common condition or long-term health problem that affects you:|
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Did You Know?
- The NHS belongs to all of us – help us to keep it working smoothly by turning up for appointments
- Every time you see a GP it costs the NHS £43, on average, for a 12-minute consultation
- A visit to Accident and Emergency costs £112