Self care for seniors
What is self care?
Self care is an approach to health, which helps you to keep yourself well. It focuses on supporting you to play an active role in your own healthcare and wellbeing. It puts you at the heart of plans for your care, today and in the future.
Self care introduces and encourages a wide range of healthy habits and activities that cover everything from your diet to your social life. It encourages you to set goals for yourself and provides professional support to help you to achieve those goals.
It’s about getting involved, learning more, gaining added control over your health care and living your life to the full. It’s a key part of the new integrated care service for anyone aged 65 and over.
Why is self care being introduced as an integral part of this service for everyone aged 65 and over?
Self care is being introduced to help you to stay as well and healthy and independent as possible, for as long as possible.
We all know that it’s easy to fall into set patterns and bad habits and sometimes the things we do aren’t as good for our health as they could be.
Self care is about making simple lifestyle changes that can have a big effect on your wellbeing.
“I’m watching the patients I’m working with really take an interest in self care. We’re asking them, what do you want? What do you need? And they’re really engaging with us. One man even asked to use my pen and he started to write down his own thoughts and ideas.”
Faith Hamer, Health and Social Care Assistant
Examples of self care
Self care in action can be as simple as brushing your teeth, taking a painkiller if you have a headache or trying to do a bit of exercise if you are able to. It’s about managing those aspects of your own care that help you to feel well and that you can do for yourself.
If you have one or more long-term conditions self care can also mean learning a little bit more about what each condition involves, and the ways in which you can help yourself to manage them in the best way possible. This could include developing the skills to manage your diabetes or making necessary and recommended lifestyle changes to reduce your high blood pressure.
What has changed?
Self care works alongside and in support of the traditional focus on medical care. It introduces a more holistic and rounded approach to your health. It covers aspects of your life like your diet, your ability to exercise and your social life. It also offers professional support around any long-term conditions you might have.
Self care will help you to develop your knowledge, skills, and confidence about your health and your health care. It will empower you to make informed decisions. Health professionals with the right skills, experience and expertise at every step will support you.
What has changed for my doctor?
The pioneering integrated care service for anyone aged 65 and over gives your GP more time to talk to you. This means they can really listen to you and ask you questions about your situation, hear about any concerns you may have and ask how you are feeling.
Depending on your clinical needs you may discuss self care with your:
- Case Manager
- Health and Social Care Assistant
For your doctors and other healthcare professionals, self care represents a big change. Self care is collaborative in its approach to supporting your health and wellbeing from every angle.
From now on your GP and the members of your integrated care team, like your case manager and health and social care assistant, will work more closely with you and with other professionals, to provide you with the care you need.
Your GP, case manager and health and social care assistant will also talk to you in a different way. They will ask you what you want when it comes to planning your care. These questions will form the basis of your care plan.
What activities are on offer as part of self care?
Examples of activities on offer include:
Art classes, supported gym sessions, lunch clubs, Scrabble groups, reflexology and massage sessions, book groups, yoga classes, introduction to smartphone workshops and singing sessions.
The sessions promote independence and activity, provide new interests and challenges, support health and well-being, and encourage fun and enjoyment.
Self Care in your Community
A wide number of well established, friendly and varied community groups serve our area. These community groups do a lot to support people aged 65 and over. They can help you to meet the goals you have established in your care plan and work alongside you to maintain your preferred level of independence.
As our programme for over 65s becomes more established in West London, more and more people will start to use these groups. This means that there will be more new people from your local area for you to meet.
You can find a host of information to assist you particular to our area on the following websites:
Kensington and Chelsea Forum for Older Residents was formed in 1996 as a voluntary organisation and became a registered charity in 2014. It operates out of four hubs around the borough and worth with the housing associates and community centres. Five open meetings are held each year at the town hall. Visit their website http://www.seniorhealthandwellbeing.co.uk/ for more useful information on how to improve lifestyles through learning and connect with helpful organisations and activities.
The People First website provides a range of information, ideas and services to help maintain independence and wellbeing in Kensington and Chelsea and Westminster. It aims to treat people as experts on their own lives and issues, and allows residents to feel in control of their own lives and the choices they have available to them.
The council funded website is aimed at the older adult population, people living with disabilities of whatever kind, and those who look after others.
The NHS Choices website is full of information, tips and tools that can help put you in charge of your own health and wellbeing