Self care means keeping fit and healthy, as well as knowing how to take medicines, treat minor ailments and seek help when you need it. If you have a long-term condition, self care is about understanding that condition and how to live with it. (Definition from NHS Choices, Web 28/8/2015http://www.nhs.uk/Planners/Yourhealth/Pages/self-care-week-2015.aspx)
For information on Self Care please visit:
Other helpful websites:
Our thoughts on self care
Inbetween these two extremes, patients often need and appreciate help and support to make decisions for themselves. This is particularly relevant to ‘self care’ for minor illnesses such as a headache or a sore throat in people who are normally fit and well.
As health care professionals, we feel it’s important that our patients feel confident in the decisions they make about their own health.
If a patient is worried about their health, having relevant information about an illness, such as:
- how long it might normally be expected to last
- warning signs to look out for
- what ‘over the counter’ medications might help
might enable someone to chose not to make a GP or nurse appointment.
This sort of information is available from many pharmacists and reliable websites such as:
- whenshouldiworry.com (bilingual)
- selfcareforum.org (bilingual)
- NHS websites.
If it is still needed, seeing a GP after using self management strategies will mean we can assess the benefits that you have or haven’t experienced already.
We hope that these resources can help our patients to care for themselves during minor illnesses, and as a part of our consultations we will try to promote and explain self care where appropriate.
‘Self care’ doesn’t mean ‘no care’, and it can often be the best care!