The number of people with long term conditions in Scotland continues to grow with approximately forty per cent of the Scottish population having at least one long term condition.
One in four adults over 16 report some form of long term illness, health problem or disability. Long term conditions are health conditions that last a year or longer, impact on a person’s life, and may require ongoing care and support.
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. Having access to a range of information is one way for this to happen, moving away from more traditional interactions where the care professional is the expert with responsibility for health and decision making, to individuals with long term conditions playing a more active role in defining their health goals.
The local library is one way of gaining information and accessing opportunities that can aid self-management as well as improving health and well-being. Dumfries and Galloway libraries offer a huge range of services that can support people including Healthy Reading, Learning Support, activity groups and volunteering opportunities.
This week is Self -Management Week (Mon 29th September- Friday 3rd October), coordinated by The Health and Social care Alliance Scotland (the ALLIANCE). This involves the celebrating all the work across Scotland that is taking place in our communities to support people who live with long term conditions to live fulfilling lives. As more of us live with long term conditions we need to make sure people are supported to be leading partners in managing their health and wellbeing, feeling able to make informed decisions and able to draw on different kinds of support and information- like those available in your local library.
Chairman of Dumfries and Galloway Council’s Community and Customer Services Committee Tom McAughtrie said: “Libraries across Dumfries and Galloway offer easy access to a range of self-help resources including books, leaflets and free access to the internet. Self-Management Week is a great way to let everyone know about the support available in their local communities.”
The ALLIANCE Chief Executive Ian Welsh said: “Self Management Week is a great opportunity to celebrate the excellent work taking place to make sure people living with long term conditions are supported to build the skills and confidence to look after ourselves.”