National Self Care Week 15th - 21st November 2021

This is L-W-O Community's third year of actively supporting Selfcare Week.  

The Self Care Forum is a national charity with a big heart, and their aim is to promote self care for everyone regardless of whether you have an illness or not.  How do we define self care?  Its about you and me, our families and organisations taking the time to promote health, to maintain health, to prevent disease, we learn to cope with long-term conditions and disabilities.  All this is done through our health care provider in the UK which is the NHS.  The Self Care Forum provide fact sheets for every day ailments from back pain, to coughs even urinary incontinence the list is extensive and they are available to you free of charge on their website.

In 2018 I was introduced to the Self Care Forum by friends at Grapevine in Coventry who are all about 'Growing lives and Communities.  I was so impressed with the work the forum was doing I started to follow them.  Eventually I became a self care champion this is my opening quote which I firmly standby today:

"Self care became an important part of my journey, I can support and empower others to make lifestyle changes that improves the quality of their lives. By encouraging others to self-care, they too can become their own advocates".

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Did you know?

Did you know that health and social care in England is based on a person-centred approach?  This gives us as individuals our families and communities the choice to personalise our health and social care.  The tools we are given are aimed at managing our own conditions with support from our health care provider to improve our health, care, and wellbeing

Over the last few years there has also been a push towards Technology Enabled Care (TEC).  Initially a Holistic Needs Assessment (HNA) should be carried out to determine if TEC can benefit the individual, this is aimed at keeping those of us who live with long-term conditions in own home, when things start to get difficult. The HNA will be undertaken by, doctors, nurses, occupational health practitioners or private TEC providers.  The initial assessment would look at all the individual’s needs, difficulties the individual is experiencing and whether using TEC will improve the quality of life and wellbeing.  Covid-19 has accelerated the need for TEC especially with phone calls and video messaging services.

TEC may include telecare, telehealth, telemedicine and tele coaching this should provide care to help you control your own health and social care, to jointly make decisions about your care and what you feel is right for you. Here is brief look at what is available:

  • Telehealth - monitored equipment aimed at reducing GP appointments and reduced hospital stays (monthly cost involved on monitoring).

  • Telecare - Designed to send alerts to a dedicated call centre when a patient has a problem  (monthly cost involved).

  • Telemedicine - access to 24/7 care designed for quick access via mobile health apps, mobile medical devices that monitor and track health, sharing medical reports.

  • Tele-coaching - support via mobile, landline or video messaging services by trained practitioners, to give practical support, guided self-help to plan and maintain their health at home for as long as possible.

This is very simplistic view of the way healthcare is moving forward, but do speak your health care provider and see what is available to make your life comfortable and keep you in your own home.

Early in 2021 I undertook a 12 week online course which was a NCFE Cache in Technology Enabled Care, at the time it was quite gruelling with all the other events I had going on but thoroughly enjoyable.  This gave me a better understanding on how health care systems work, how the future is giving patients the choice in their own health, care and wellbeing.

No Surprise

It will come as no surprise to the people who know me that even when I promote self care it will be centred around lymphoedema, because while this condition is incurable it can be managed and treated.  So the following video is aimed at those of us who live with lymphoedema to give us a brief look at how we can take care of ourselves.  Read more...

L-W-O Community Members have their say

Craig Davidson @thegrumpylymphie is a great advocate for lymphoedema and brings an unique look at what it is like for men who live with this condition. Craig is passionate that you seek help through a lymphoedema clinic, that you are properly measured for compression. He tells us to listen to what our bodies are telling us. Craig understands that movement and eating correctly are important to our lymphatic health. Read more...

Ann Gill has lived with lymphoedema for 30 years. She has learned how to self-advocate, educate others, how to say no, stick to the 'rules', the importance of compression, moisturising, sunburn, avoiding injury. Ann has found a great way to boost her wellbeing by taking up tap dancing and ballet lessons. Read more...

Rowen Catch and her thoughts on selfcare and patient advocacy

I am inspired by ...

Every now and then in life you meet someone that is so enthusiastic about helping others it becomes contagious and that's what happened to me when I met Mary Fickling.  She is creative, imaginative and sometimes sensitive but these are her best qualities. We talk via What's App several times a week, sometimes on the phone and use each other as a sounding board.  

I am thrilled that this year Mary is helping to spread the word about self care.  Earlier this year Mary was nominated to become a Self Care Champion and I know that she is passionate about sharing her self care tips and showing how a few minutes everyday can really improve our wellbeing.

Check out her new webpage for National Self Care Week and do watch the videos they are packed with simple tips to improve our well being.

I am thrilled to have Becky as one of our members, her membership has brought

a wealth of experience and knowledge to our community.  

Social Self Care and Wellbeing

For further details on selfcare while living with lymphoedema read more ...