With 58 per cent of people over 60 living with long-term health conditions* Independent Age, the older people’s charity, has been listening to older people on the areas of their lives they find harder to manage.
Independent Age’s new, free advice guide ‘Living well with long-term health conditions’ has been developed with older people who have long-term health conditions managed with medication or other treatments. It contains information and advice they themselves found helpful or wish they had been told. The charity also worked with GPs and other health professionals to ensure all key areas were included.
It is aimed at older people living with conditions such as diabetes, arthritis, high blood pressure and some forms of depression to help them take control of their lives. It will also be useful for family and neighbours.
Key tips include:
· Talk about it – family, friends, healthcare professionals and support groups can help with emotional support. If you need information ask your GP or consultant. There’s a lot of information out there, but they may not know what you need if you don’t ask
· Make changes manageable – break advice down into small chunks to make it achievable. For example, setting the goal of contacting two local support groups rather than saying you’ll get some emotional support
· Manage medication – setting alarms, using apps on your phone or getting an automatic pill dispenser to remind you when to take medication
· Prepare for medical appointments – take some time to consider your expectations of an appointment and make a list of the key things you want to ask that can help you get the most out of your appointment
· Managing multiple conditions – if you have more than one condition, you might have to think about how they and your medications interact. Make sure your GP or consultant knows about all your conditions and which ones are having a big impact on your life. Also tell them about any medications you’re already taking.
The full guide provides key information on how your condition may affect you, how to cope with challenges, how you might feel and respond to new information and situations, how to get the most out of medical appointments, where to get support and how to help yourself.
Free copies of ‘Living well with long-term health conditions’ can be ordered by calling Independent Age’s Helpline on 0800 319 6789. It is also available to order or download from Independent Age’s website www.independentage.org/living-well-with-health-conditions