Self management is about people living with long term conditions being in ‘the driving seat’. It supports people to live their lives better, on their terms.
Long term conditions are conditions that generally last a year or longer, and may impact upon a person’s life. People living with long term conditions may require ongoing care and support from others. Long term conditions are usually but not necessarily health conditions, and include learning and physical disabilities.
Specific examples include: Asthma, Diabetes, Epilepsy, Skin conditions, Cancer, Heart disease, Arthritis, ME, Chronic pain, Alzheimer’s, Stroke, Mental health problems, Multiple Sclerosis. See our support organisation directory for information and support for specific long term conditions.
Self management supports and encourages people living with long term conditions to access information and to develop skills to find out what’s right for their condition and, most importantly, right for them.
Self management is not a replacement for services. It does not mean the person has to manage their long term condition(s) alone. It’s about working hand in hand with the people who can provide the right support at the right time to enable individuals to choose how they want to live with a long term condition(s).
Self management does not mean having to manage alone without support.A self management approach enables people to make informed choices about how and when to draw on different kinds of support. Making informed decisions, with or without the support of others, is how we all manage our lives. Having a long term condition need not change that. Read our health professionals approaches to self management under downloads, to hear how you could support others to adopt a self management approach.
There is no one-size-fits-all model of self management. Self management is not an individual action, specific treatment or service. It has to be tailored to each person’s needs, circumstances and wishes.
For some people, forward planning is key to being able to negotiate situations and live a better life. Other people like to set goals, then decide what services, individuals, medication or other support they will need to achieve those goals. For everyone, the challenge is to get on with life while dealing with the reality of living with a long term condition.
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