People have a key role in protecting their own health, choosing appropriate treatments and managing long-term conditions. Self-management is a term used to include all the actions taken by people to recognise, treat and manage their own health.
Self-care is about keeping fit and healthy, to know when to get advice from your GP or another health professional. If you have a long-term condition, self-care is about understanding that condition and how to live with it.
Self-care is also recommended when you have a minor condition which doesn’t normally need medical care (from a doctor or nurse) or any treatment in order to get better. In practice, this means a person decides that they can manage their illness without seeing a doctor. This may be because they don’t like taking remedies or pills, or because they believe they will recover just as quickly if they stay at home and rest until their illness goes away of its own accord. Or they may pop out to buy medicines over the counter at a pharmacy. Either way, ‘self-care’ is something millions of us do every day – for positive and practical reasons.
Self-Care Week is an annual national awareness week that focuses on establishing support for self-care across communities, families and generations. More needs to be done to support people to better look after their own health. Empowering individuals to self-care has many benefits for their short term and long term health and this is important since people are living longer. Helping people to look after their own health, and their family’s health also helps to manage demand on health services.
See below a list of available resources in Bristol:
- North Bristol Advice Centre is a free signposting service for the over 50s.
- Bristol Youth Link offers a free and impartial advice and information to young people aged 11-19 years, to make informed choices around drugs and alcohol. They can be contacted at 01179876008 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Self-Care Forum This patient-focussed website aims to help people take care of themselves.
- Well Aware This is a Bristol-based organisation that aims to improve your health and wellbeing.
- Carer Support Centre This local organisation provides a wealth of help and support for carers. See their website for details of free and upcoming training courses and workshops that will be running online.
- Bristol U3A (Bristol’s University of the Third Age) This organisations moto is live, laugh and learn and they offer a range of group activities that are physical, social or academic.