November 13th – 19th is National Self Care week!
Self care is for everyone and anyone. Everyone should understand and employ self-care at some level throughout their lives. It is about empowering people to take control of their own good health and wellbeing.
The Essence Service promotes good self care through the Patient Activation Measure (PAM) tool which helps identify what level of support individuals or their carers might need to manage their health and well-being.
Stay healthy this Winter!
So, what is self-care?
Self-care is about people looking after themselves in a healthy way, which can be using various methods such as taking medications, adopting healthy lifestyle changes, treating minor ailments and having the knowledge and confidence to seek help when needed.
Knowing when to seek help through self-care can help us to determine which service to use, e.g., could a minor ailment be dealt with at a pharmacy for advice as opposed to going to accident and emergency? Other self-help actions could include reducing alcohol intake or exercising and eating healthily.
Self-care is about preventing and detecting health problems using basic health information which allows informed decision-making.
What are the benefits of self-care?
As described by All Together Better Sunderland (2017):
The benefits of self-care are truly enormous and shouldn’t be ignored. Regular self-care can:
Provide you with an understanding of the impact of your behaviour on your health and wellbeing
Prevent disease and illness
Make you feel good
Help you be more productive, engaged, and connected
Make it easier to maintain your weight
Improve your longevity and quality of life
Self care is good for everyone
Empowering people with the confidence and information to look after themselves when they can, and visit the GP when they need to, gives people greater control of their own health and encourages healthy behaviours that help prevent ill health in the long-term. In many cases people can take care of their minor ailments, reducing the number of GP consultations and enabling GPs to focus on caring for higher risk patients, such as those with comorbidities, the very young and elderly, managing long-term conditions and providing new services.
More cost-effective use of stretched NHS resources allows money to be spent where it’s most needed and improve health outcomes. Furthermore, increased personal responsibility around healthcare helps improve people’s health and wellbeing and better manage long-term conditions when they do develop. This will ultimately ensure the long-term sustainability of the NHS.
(All Together Better Sunderland (2017)
Leaflets, posters and guides
Below you will find various helpful leaflets which can be used to support your own self care. You can download and print if needed.
Materials to support Antibiotic Awareness Day in England (Whilst this link takes you to the 2011 Antibiotics Awareness Day campaign material with posters and leaflets, these are not dated and so are still relevant to use.)
Helpful website links:
Change your life with art: Keeping well in mind and body is something we all aspire to. This resource shows you new ways to approach wellbeing, through learning to harness your natural creativity.
Interactive self care learning resource from skills for care New interactive self care learning resource helps social care staff to promote independence.
NHS Choices – About health costs Ways of helping patients with their health costs.