If you've been diagnosed with a long term condition like diabetes, lung disease or heart disease there's lots of support out there to help you manage it better. Being in control of your condition means greater confidence and better health and wellbeing.
By taking better care of yourself through diet and exercise, using your medicine responsibly and seeking help early when you feel like you're getting ill, you can signfiicantly reduce the chances that you'll have to be admitted into hospital with a flare up.
Have you got a care plan?
Your GP, nurse or social worker will support you by helping you develop your own personalised care plan. This is a record of your discussion about the support and services you need to help you live with your condition. By talking about or reviewing your care plan, you decide together what care and support you need and how it will be provided.
Your personal care plan covers the following elements:
* Your clinical condition - and what need to be done to manage it including medicines to take and emergency numbers for if you get ill
* Your mental health - and what needs to be done to maintain your well-being
* Your social life - support to ensure you don't become isolated and to help your family and friends
* Support you need to keep living indpendently - any equipment or modifications you need for your home
* Self management - how to become an 'expert' patient and steps you can take to minimise the impact of your condition e.g give up smoking
Everyone with a long term condition can have a care plan – just ask your GP, nurse or social worker for more information.
Support for carers
Caring for someone with a long term condition can be physically and emotionally demanding. There is lots of help available for carers, including the right to a carer’s assessment by social services, to determine the level of support you need - just ask your GP, nurse or social worker for more information.