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Planning and coordinating healthcare. Pregnancy and birth services. A-Z A-Z. Conditions and treatments. Healthy living. Services and support. Service profiles. Blog Blog. Blog authors. Podcast Podcast. Back to Planning and coordinating healthcare Home Services and support Planning and coordinating healthcare Managing long-term illness and chronic conditions. Managing long-term illness and chronic conditions Share show more. Listen show more. More show more. If you have a long-term illness or chronic condition, keep your doctor informed about changes in your health and discuss how often you will need check-ups.
Social support can help you maintain your quality of life when you are not well — plan to catch up with friends and family. Support groups can help too. If you feel your condition is overwhelming you emotionally, it is important that you speak to your doctor or another healthcare professional about your feelings. Positive lifestyle factors like a healthy diet, regular exercise and good sleep can help relieve or manage your symptoms. Many long-term illnesses and chronic conditions: are caused by a number of different health factors occurring at the same time take some time to develop last for a long time, often leading to other health problems.
Maintaining your best quality of life with a chronic condition Chronic conditions are rarely cured completely, so looking after yourself will be about good medical advice, living a healthy lifestyle and having a positive attitude. Pain management Managing the pain associated with a chronic illness may include taking pain-relieving medication, undergoing physical therapies such as physiotherapy and other therapies, such as cognitive behavioural therapy.
Managing long-term illness and chronic conditions
Looking after your mental health The symptoms of chronic disease, like tiredness, aches and pains, are often not visible, so others cannot always appreciate their effects. Find information about your prognosis and likely outcomes — you may feel more in control. Talk to a friend, join a support group or seek specialist help through a psychologist or psychiatrist. They can help you realistically assess your worries. Focus on a variety of things each day — give yourself daily tasks and make time to read, walk or watch a movie. Do activities that challenge your mind, such as crosswords or other puzzles.
Good lifestyle choices with a chronic condition We know from research that maintaining a healthy lifestyle can help you feel as well as you can while living with a chronic condition. Avoid excessive bed rest whenever possible. Avoid stimulants, such as caffeine, before bed. If you are able, exercise during the day so your body is tired at night. Dealing with multiple health conditions Dealing with multiple conditions may mean that you need to deal with a number of healthcare professionals.
Managing your healthcare team Sometimes, your healthcare can be better coordinated if your various health professionals talk to each other directly, but you need to give them your permission first. It can help you to: avoid having to repeat health information for each practitioner avoid having to re-take medical tests, such as scans and blood tests understand which healthcare professional to ask about which problem.
To help coordinate your health information among the members of your healthcare team: Give consent for all the members of your healthcare team to share information about your care. Appoint one healthcare professional, usually your local doctor, to oversee all your care including drawing up a treatment plan, which can be shared. This will help you and your doctor track your care and find problems more easily. Give each of them a copy of this information. Ask the other members of your healthcare team to tell your primary doctor about tests, medicines, treatments, physical therapy or food limitations they have suggested or prescribed.
Ask each member of your team questions about your care and keep notes on the answers in a notebook. Take this notebook to all appointments for easy reference. Support from others — support groups, family and friends Social support can help you maintain your quality of life when you have a long-term health condition. Keep a regular schedule of contact throughout each week.
Brain Power: 100 Ways to Keep Your Mind Healthy and Fit
And then they started putting her into, I'm not sure what it's called, but a thing like a board, they put her on a board so that she could be tilted upright to stand up. And I know she found that really difficult the first couple of times. Day eighteen was incredible, walked into her little bay in ITU and there she was looking at us and smiling at us. She recognised us and I just burst into tears and said, 'I have missed you so much. And she nodded yes, and no, to our questions. She squeezed [my older daughter's] hand.
She smiled at them [two daughters]. It was excellent and I thought it was one of the best days of my life. It is lovely to see her again. The following day she was still conscious, still the same, but she didn't so bright eyed today. The doctors or the nurses explained that she was probably tired. They were trying to wean her onto the ventilator where she does all her work rather than one where she does some work and the ventilator helps her. And it was making her tired. So she wasn't quite so good then.
And the next day again, still very tired, didn't answer many of my questions. It was almost like she didn't want us to be there. She couldn't be bothered. She was so tired and that was really upsetting. Day twenty one was an excellent visit. She looked brilliant. She smiled a lot. She kept winking at the girls, being quite cheeky almost and she tried to tickle the girls as well to make them smile. She was pulling lots of funny faces in answer to our questions, trying to communicate with us and she started to kind of mouth questions and answers, rather than just nodding and shaking.
She was now responding a lot more and as we left, my Nan was with us, and when we left she pulled my Nan down to kiss her and mouthed at my Nan to take care. So that was just a real big step forward. The next day again, a step back, very tired. Not so bright. Not so full of energy and I was having to lip read which was really frustrating because I couldn't understand what she was saying. And she was getting frustrated because she couldn't make herself known. So we took in a notepad so that she could actually write, but because she hadn't used her hands for so long she couldn't really write either.
So it was a very frustrating time over the next two or three days really. It actually got to the point where I wasn't sure if I wanted to go in and see her because it was upsetting, because it was almost like she was really angry with me. The following day, day twenty six, I dropped my eldest off at Brownies and I just took the little one in and she was fast asleep in her pushchair.
And I pushed her into the ward and my Mum said, 'She is fast asleep. I said, 'Was that your voice, you know you have spoken to me. She was grinning her head off. Again I was so excited I burst into tears and we then spent the next hour talking non stop. One woman's partner had been sedated for three and a half months, which is very uncommon. And after three months, he started coming round? They reduced the sedation? And how was he when he came round? He was well, they warned us that he would be very disorientated and might not remember what happened or might not remember who we are, just because of the drugs.
He didn't have any head injuries, so we didn't have to worry about that sort of thing, but the drugs he had. But he did remember who I was and I brought our baby in to see him. And he liked that, even though he couldn't speak, his like face just lit up when he saw her. Did he have a tracheostomy? At that point he still had like the ventilator tube in his mouth. He eventually had a tracheostomy.
Myths about happiness
But he knew he was in hospital, but he was just really confused. And he still remembered his accident. Which helped, because we could say, 'You've been poorly. And then when he saw our baby she was like six months old. So she was really big and had teeth, and before she was a little baby.
And he got upset and that confused him. But I think that's what made him realise how long he'd been in there. We hadn't changed, but she did. But once we'd sort of explaining things to him he did start to seem to understand, but then he'd get confused again just' so it was quite hard to deal with that, I thought. Because I thought he would understand, but he didn't.
And I found that a bit difficult, to try and help him. HDUs, sometimes called step-down, progressive or intermediate care units, are for patients who need more intensive observation, treatment and nursing care than is possible in a general ward but slightly less than that given in ICU. The ratio of nurses to patients may be slightly lower than in ICU but higher than in most general wards. In these cases, although a patient is not moved to another ward, the level of care is slightly reduced as the patient is no longer in such a critical state.
Some patients had been concerned about moving to HDU because they'd felt too weak to do anything for themselves. One woman had been particularly anxious about her son moving to HDU because he had a rare muscle condition and could do very little for himself even when he was well. He was on HDU, we moved there just before Christmas, and he didn't come out, I think we didn't come out until, it was 28th January.
So he was on HDU for a month. But it was quite a battle keeping him there, because the nurses could see how much better he'd got. And they kept saying, 'Oh, he doesn't need, you know, he should be on a public ward. You know, it could spread, it could spread. You know, you never know.
But he would still have been with a nurse who was looking after probably three or four other children. And he does actually need, you know, hour, not someone sitting beside him, but he needs hour awareness. I mean if he shouted now, I'd be off like a shot. So, you know, he's quite high-maintenance. And people don't actually, you can sort of say, 'Oh, he's very high-maintenance' and they say, 'Oh, yes, of course he is. Can you scratch my nose? Put my arm a little bit higher? But it was a very, very, hugely traumatic time.
For most people: moving to HDU was seen as a positive step in the right direction. Most had also been extremely relieved and happy when the patient had become more alert as time had gone on. One woman said that, because of the severe head injuries her brother had, doctors hadn't known or been able to predict if he would ever fully recover. He hadn't recognised anyone when he'd first come round in ICU but in HDU he started remembering who people were and, gradually, began to be able to talk.
Although he'd been extremely confused and weak, he was later transferred to a local hospital where he could have intensive rehabilitation to help him become independent again. One of the nurses there took quite an unconventional line with her patients. She was an Army Reserve and she'd been out in Bosnia and all sorts of places. And so she was a bit more sort of gung-ho. And she said, 'Oh, to hell with this. We'll just put him in a wheelchair and take him outside.
And she just wrapped him in a blanket and sat him in a wheelchair and we took him outside. And he just sat and watched cars parking and people walking by. And then he saw his physio up on the stairs and she waved to him. And he followed her with his eyes. He couldn't wave at that stage, he couldn't move his arms.
But this fabulous sort of gung-ho attitude of this nurse, said, you know, 'Oh, to hell with this. We'll take him out. I mean all this stimulation was just bringing him on and bringing him on. She cut his hair, she cut his beard, because he ended up with a beard like an Old Testament prophet.
And so she trimmed that very nicely. I took his beard trimmers in and she did that for him. The next day we came in and found someone had trimmed him to a goatee, and the day after that he had just a moustache. Which was, you know, patient abuse [laughs], because the guy couldn't argue. They were just using him as a model. Some described how, with the support of physiotherapists, the ill person had been helped with walking, firstly using a Zimmer frame or a stick and eventually taking steps without any aid at all. On the following Monday, so that was two weeks from when he went to see the GP, [my husband] was moved from an Intensive Care bed to a high dependency bed within the same ward.
Which is a sign that thing were sort of improving. He was on the mend and didn't need quite the same level of support that he had had initially. So that was the Monday. I think his - yes his heart drugs must have been stopped by then as well because he had gone into a high dependency bed.
I brought in the cards that everybody had sent. He had loads of messages of support and goodwill and things from friends which was really nice. I took those in to show him. I took some of the photos in that I had taken and kept things ticking over. Things were fairly stable at this stage.
He was still being fed by a nasal gastric tube, still on the ventilator and that was going to be the thing that was going to carry on for a while. But gradually the pressures that they had to use to keep his lungs open, that did come down and by the Thursday [my husband] had had something called a Passe Muir valve fitted to his tracheostomy tube, which is a one way valve enabling him to speak.
Managing long-term illness and chronic conditions - Better Health Channel
Once they'd become strong enough, some patients had needed to have surgery to help them recover further. As you consider how to distribute your calories throughout your day and evening, focus on how they break down into carbohydrates, fats and proteins. Deciding on what the right balance is depends on your personal goals and your physical state. Protein has the greatest range of overall metabolic benefits for weight loss, but how can you decide how to adjust carbohydrate and fat calories, and by how much?
The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends that you balance your meals within these ranges:. Therefore, this should be your minimum baseline for weight loss. Remember that the quality of the calorie counts, so you need to make each calorie work as hard as it can for your body and your weight loss goals:. For antioxidants, choose blueberries, green tea, pecans, artichokes, kidney beans or blackberries. Choose naturally heart-healthy foods like edamame, blueberries, nuts, legumes, tomatoes, extra virgin olive oil, flax seeds, dark leafy greens, pomegranate, avocado or green tea.
Opt for whole foods, especially raw cruciferous vegetables and dark leafy greens. Any doctor or dietician will tell you to drink water instead of soda or juice. Water is critical to good health; it promotes normal bowel function and digestion, flushes the impurities and toxins from your body, adds moisture to your skin and hair and energizes your muscles.
Research shows that drinking water 30 minutes before eating aids in weight loss. These results were seen even among people who made no changes to their caloric intake or exercise regimens. Your body and mind get even more confused by the fact that feeling moody, lightheaded and weak are all signs of both dehydration and hunger. The right default move is to drink water first. Since water is key to detox, digestion, elimination and weight loss, this is something you should change right now. Nutritional supplements can help you re-energize your body and achieve your weight loss goals naturally.
Many of the health products in the Tony Robbins health line are designed to provide bioenergetic nutrients, energy and essential compounds to maximize health and weight loss. The Ultimate Weight Loss program, available in chocolate or vanilla , is specifically designed to support healthy weight loss in just 14 days. Together, exercise and proper diet promote weight loss. Relying on exercise alone can mean that you overcompensate for calories that you burn, getting in the way of your weight loss goals. Relying on calorie restriction alone causes the body to slow down your metabolism, which scuttles your weight loss goals again.
The longer your metabolism is out of whack, the harder it is to recover and restore it to a normal rate. You need to combine exercises that challenge your strength, endurance and flexibility. For each compound exercise listed below, alternate the recommended number of sets with 30 to 60 second rest periods:. Permanent weight loss is all about making small daily changes.
Simple lifestyle changes are the key to success, because they are the only way to ensure that weight stays off. We have all become accustomed to huge plates filled with food at every meal; however, experts know that simply controlling how much food you consume is among the best ways to lose weight. Focus on all of the wonderful foods you can have and the new recipes and dishes you can try.
Revel in how wonderful it feels to be in control of your life. And remember, positive thinking includes cutting yourself some slack and being kind to yourself. Keeping a record of what you eat puts it all in black and white. Food records highlight patterns you might not have picked up on otherwise, allowing you to substitute better habits for older, destructive patterns. And the best news?
When you plan out your meals and snacks in advance, you eliminate much of the danger that comes from last-minute, hunger-based decisions. No matter what your day is like, keep moving. Walk to the corner store instead of driving, stroll the neighborhood after dinner or take a few fast stair runs at lunch. Just do something to keep moving. For the next two weeks, challenge yourself to apply the following 12 steps of pure energy in your life.
Living by these 12 principles will motivate you toward achieving your weight loss goals — not to mention an extraordinary quality of life. Supplement your diet with the essential fatty acids your body needs Omega 3, Omega 6 using the following options:. Your ideal food pyramid should consist of 70 percent live foods, 10 percent quality fish or plant-based proteins, 10 percent carbohydrates and 10 percent quality oils.