Isle residents urged to improve physical activity during Self-Care Week

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People across North Lincolnshire are being encouraged to look after themselves and become more knowledgeable about their health and lifestyle options this Self-Care Week 2016 to improve physical and mental wellbeing.

Self-Care Week is run by the Self Care Forum to raise awareness of the importance of health and lifestyle options.

Self-care means knowing how to keep healthy and well by making choices that can support you to do so, such as cutting down on sugar, incorporating physical activity into your daily life, getting help to stop smoking and eating a healthy diet.

Making changes to your lifestyle can reduce your risk of developing a long term condition such as heart disease and diabetes.

Even if you already have a long term condition there are steps you can take yourself to keep as well as possible such as getting a flu jab, these are offered free to people with a serious medical condition who are at risk.

Contact your GP for more information.

North Lincolnshire Council and the NHS run a six week programme called the Expert Patients Programme to help people manage long term conditions.

The course is available to anyone aged 18 and above who have one or more long term conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, depression, COPD and arthritis.

For more information about the Expert Patient Programme email expertpatient@northlincs.gov.uk or call 01724 298421/298409.

Councillor Carl Sherwood, cabinet member for health and wellbeing, said: “This Self-Care Week we are urging people to think about their physical and mental health.

“Ask yourself if you are doing all you can to stay healthy and is there more you can be doing to lead a healthier lifestyle.

“Not only can you prevent long term conditions but for those people living with long term conditions, self-care can make a huge difference.

“In North Lincolnshire a range of support is available to help people live with long term conditions, including the Expert Patient Programme.

“This programme brings people together and provides advice and support.”

Dr Robert Jaggs-Fowler, medical director for the North Lincolnshire CCG said: “We would encourage people to practise self-care at home where possible and keep their medicine cupboard well stocked, as a lot of minor aliments over the winter months can be managed by obtaining advice and medicines from the local pharmacist.

“It isn’t necessary to have to wait for an appointment to see a GP as antibiotics are not needed for coughs and colds, and for sickness and diarrhoea, self-care is the best option to avoid spreading the viruses to others.”

Further support is available from the parish nurse based in Bottesford, Barbara Nimmo.

Barbara runs a clinic every Tuesday morning at Bottesford Baptist Church and is in full support of Self-Care Week.

She encourages better use of health services by signposting people across North Lincolnshire, including the Isle, to more appropriate services and organises community health education.

Anyone interested is welcome to attend one of the sessions where there will be support on self-care and personal health.

* How the service has helped one North Lincolnshire resident

Tony Walker has taken part in the Expert Patient Programme, he said: “One thing that became apparent during the first hour was that although we all have very different conditions, we all have health condition management strategies that are remarkably similar.

“The part of the course I found extremely useful in making weekly action plans.

“These are goal setting exercises that are personal and made to be very achievable.

“I cannot praise the course highly enough.

“I am sure that many more people would find this course just as helpful as I have.”

North Lincolnshire Clinical Commissioning Group has commissioned a digital self-care platform for people who are diagnosed with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD).

COPD is an umbrella term used to describe progressive lung diseases including emphysema, chronic bronchitis, asthma and some forms of bronchiectasis and causes symptoms of breathlessness.

​MyCOPD is a web-based app that offers people with long term conditions personalised support that includes knowledge and skills and emotional support to help them understand and manage their conditions.

It also provides management plans for effective use of medication and demonstrations on using inhalers.

The Self Care Campaign was launched in March 2010 and is made up of professionals from key organisations across primary care including the NHS Alliance, Royal College of Nursing, and National Association of Primary Care.

For more details on self-treatable conditions, keeping well in the winter and other useful tips, visit the website www.selfcareforum.org.