Questions & answers
Here are some answers to frequently asked questions about self management and living with long term conditions. If you have a question that we have not answered here or elsewhere please do let us know
Why is self management valuable?
- Life can be better with self management. Being told you have a condition for which there may be no cure can be devastating. Individuals respond in individual ways. It can often have a profound impact on a person’s well-being and self-esteem.
- People try to cope as best they can with the support they have. But frequently they do not have the information or skills to manage their condition well. It is often difficult to make well informed decisions about their life; let alone make plans for the future.
- Together with health professionals and others who provide support, self management helps people to make decisions that are right for their life.
You say there are over 2 million people living with a long term condition in Scotland which is 40% of the population. Where does this figure come from – it seems very high?
What is the Self Management Fund?
The Self Management fund provides a unique opportunity for voluntary organisations and partnerships to develop and strengthen new ideas as well as existing approaches to self management.
The refreshed Self Management Fund, The Transforming Self Management in Scotland Fund, is currently closed to applications.The Scottish Government has committed £2m annnually for this new three year phase of the Fund to run from April 2016 - March 2019.
Visit www.alliance-scotland.org.uk for updates.
Why was the ALLIANCE founded and what is its function?
- The ALLIANCE is the national third sector intermediary for a range of health and social care organisations. The ALLIANCE has over 1900 members including large, national support providers as well as small, local volunteer-led groups and people who are disabled, living with a long term condition or providing unpaid care.
- As well as promoting the interests of people with long term conditions, the ALLIANCE administers the Transforming Self Management in Scotland Fund, established on behalf of the Scottish Government to provide grants for self management projects across the country.
How can I do it? What do I need to do?
For you and the people who support you, self management means making decisions together about:
- the support that’s best for you
- how often you need support
- what can be done together, and
- what you can do for yourself.
In practice, self management can mean different things to different people. For everyone, it means using information, tools, techniques and practical support from other people to get on with their lives.
How can I benefit from self management? Why is it relevant to me?
If you live with a long term condition, self management can put you in the driving seat.
It means accessing the knowledge and skills you need to decide what’s right for managing your condition and, most importantly, your life.
Self management can mean you being:
- better informed about the condition
- better prepared for everyday challenges
- better supported when you need it.
Is self management a replacement for services?
- No. 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.
So what is “self management” and what is a “long term condition” – this sounds like jargon to me?
- Self management is about putting people in “the driving seat” by helping them to access information and skills to find out what’s right for their condition(s) and, most importantly, for their lives.
- It can mean making decisions together with support, about how often they need support, what can be done together, and what can be done independently.
- Life can be better with self management.
- Long term conditions are conditions of prolonged duration, generally lasting a year or longer, that impact upon a person’s life and may require ongoing care and support.
- These are not necessarily health conditions, including for instance learning and physical disabilities.
- Specific examples include asthma, diabetes, epilepsy, skin conditions, cancer, heart disease, arthritis, ME, chronic pain, Alzheimer’s, stroke and mental health problems. (This list is by no means exhaustive).
Why did the ALLIANCE launch “My Condition, My Terms, My Life: Living better with self management”?
- The ALLIANCE launched the My Condition, My Terms My Life campaign to get across the message that living with a long term condition doesn’t stop you being in charge of your own life.
- The campaign is designed to encourage individuals, their unpaid carers and professionals to adopt a self management approach to living with long term conditions.
- In practice, this means different things to different people. For everyone, it means using information, tools, techniques and practical support from other people to get on with their lives.