Living with a long term health condition
Managing your long term health condition does not mean you are alone.
With the help of your GP, specialist nurse and local support groups you can take control of your condition and avoid trips to hospital.
Support for people with long-term conditions
If you have a long-term condition, like Type 2 diabetes or breathing problems, your GP will help you to manage your condition to stop it from getting worse.
Your GP or specialist nurse can help you learn about your condition so that you recognise the warning signs and avoid ending up in hospital.
You can find more information on living with diabetes and COPD in our dedicated pages Living with COPD and Living with diabetes. You can find out more about living with heart disease or if you've had a heart attack on the British Heart Foundation website.
Managing your long term condition
Managing your condition commonly involves:
- understanding and following your medical regimens, for example taking your medication the right way at the right time
- making often challenging lifestyle changes that will control the negative effects of your condition and improve your wellbeing, for example losing weight, being more active or stopping smoking (link to these sections of the website)
- looking after your mental health by dealing with the emotions arising from having the condition.
Understanding your medicines
If you have a long-term condition it is important that you take any prescription medicines in the correct way.
This will make sure that you get the best out of them and they do their job properly.
Speak to your GP or pharmacist if you have any questions or concerns about your medicines.
Looking after your emotional health
Many emotions can arise from having long term condition.
Croydon's psychological therapies and wellbeing service offers free, confidential support to people with a long term condition who are experiencing stress or distress as a result of living with their long term condition.
The service offers a range of support for people with a long term condition including cognitive behavioural therapy and guided self-help.
Four times a year, the service also runs a six week group for people living with a long term condition which focuses on some of the distress of living with a chronic condition.
You can self-refer to the service or be referred by your GP and more information and details on how to contact the service can be found on their website.