Approximately 6.5 million people in the UK are carers, looking after a parent, partner, child or friend. A carer is someone who provides unpaid care and support to a family member or friend who has a disability, illness, mental health problem or who needs extra help as they grow older.
Carer’s Rights Day aims to help ensure carers are aware of their rights, they know where to get help and support and to raise awareness of the needs of carers.
For more information and support visit https://www.carersuk.org/news-and-campaigns/carers-rights-day and https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/social-care-and-support-guide/support-and-benefits-for-carers/
Self-Care Week is the annual national event that raises awareness of what we can all do to improve our physical health and mental wellbeing. This year, the theme is Exercise Self Care for Life.
The organiser of Self Care Week is the Self Care Forum, a charity which aims to empower and encourage everyone to make self-care their everyday habit. And the Self Care Forum knows just how important this message is, particularly when times are as tough as they are right now.
Incorporating the practise of self-care into our everyday lives can help us to live as healthily as possible. And there’s evidence that suggests being as healthy as we can also help us to better cope with life’s challenges that come our way.
Self-Care Week is a perfect time to think about how we live our lives and maybe make some small changes that will improve our health and wellbeing, and our families. Those changes could mean looking at what we eat or drink, or how much exercise we do or how much sleep we are getting. They could be about our work-life balance, because staying connected to our friends and family is also vital to our wellbeing, and theirs.
Knowing what to do and where to go for help is an important part of practising self-care for life. Remember, it isn’t just the GP practice that can help, pharmacies are also health experts. They are on every High Street and can help with all sorts of ailments. Pharmacists can also signpost you to the right place for additional health advice or treatment.
Remember, NHS 111 can also be a good resource for health advice for things that are not life-threatening. And the NHS website has lots of information on what steps to take to look after you and your family. https://www.nhs.uk/ The Self Care Forum also has some useful fact sheets you might like to download. https://www.selfcareforum.org/fact-sheets/
The important thing to remember is, practising self-care is something we all need to do every day. For ourselves. For our families. And for the NHS.
We know what it is like to feel stressed and being under pressure is a normal part of life. But becoming overwhelmed by stress can lead to mental health problems or male existing problems worse.
Stress is the feeling of being under too much mental or emotional pressure. When you are stressed, your body releases stress hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol. A small amount of stress can be useful and can even get you motivated to take action and get tasks completed. But too much stress can cause a negative effect.
Find out more about stress, how to spot it and what you can do to try and help – https://www.nhs.uk/mental-health/feelings-symptoms-behaviours/feelings-and-symptoms/stress/
November is Mouth Cancer Action Month, raising awareness of the signs and symptoms of mouth cancer. The sooner mouth cancer is detected the much better chance there is of beating it.
The most common symptoms are:
Many of these can be caused by less serious conditions however, it is strongly recommended that you see your GP or dentist if any of these last longer than 3 weeks.
For further information visit https://www.dentalhealth.org/spotthesigns or https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/mouth-cancer/symptom
November is Lung Cancer Awareness Month, and as it’s the most common cause of death from cancer in both men and women claiming almost 35,000 lives a year, the campaign is encouraging people to visit their GP sooner if they have symptoms.
Early detection of lung cancer makes it more treatable, so encouraging people to recognise symptoms such as a persistent cough, breathlessness and sudden weight loss and to see their GP could save lives.
To find out more about Lung Cancer Awareness Month, visit https://roycastle.org/.
Whilst the pandemic has, and continues to, take its toll on our mental health, the ability to reconnect through World Mental Health Day 2022 provides us with an opportunity to show what support and information is available for anyone affected by mental health issues.
It’s Back Care Awareness Week and as a lot more of us are working from home we may have become susceptible to lower back pain. Poor posture can be an unfortunate issue when working at home, but staying active can help ease lower back pain. For more tips exercises for back pain visit Back pain – NHS (www.nhs.uk)
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, when we talk about the causes of breast cancer, what symptoms to look out for and what support is available.
The first symptom of breast cancer that women notice is a lump or area of thickened tissue in their breast. Most breast lumps are not cancerous, but it’s always best to have them checked by a doctor.
You should see a GP if you notice any of the following:
Breast pain is not usually a symptom of breast cancer.
The first symptoms of breast cancer in men can include:
You can find more information at:
Cancer Research UK- https://www.cancerresearchuk.org/about-cancer/breast-cancer/symptoms
Check for Cancer – https://www.check4cancer.com
Why not go Sober for October with Macmillan Cancer Support. Some of the main benefits of going sober or cutting down are:
The NHS Better Health Campaign have a free ‘Drink Free Days’ app, allowing you to track your alcohol intake, view tips on cutting down and receive reminders when you need them most. The app is available on the app store or Google Play.
Regular eye tests are important, not only will the optometrist tell you if you require glasses or have a change in prescription, but they will also carry out eye health checks to spot any early signs of eye conditions before they become a problem.
Optometrists are highly trained and can recognise abnormalities and conditions that could be causing eye problems.
The NHS recommend you get an eye test every two years (more often if advised by your ophthalmic practitioner or optometrist).
How can I tell if my child is having issues with their eyes?
Children often do not complain about their sight, but they may show signs of being unable to see properly such as:
• Sitting closer to the TV
• Holding objects very close to their face
• Blinking a lot
• Eye rubbing
• One eye turning in or out
If you think your child has any sort of sight problem, book and appointment at the opticians for further investigation. Children so not have to be able to read letters to have their eyes tested.
Children under 16 years of age or 16, 17 or 18 year olds in full time education are entitled to free NHS eye examinations.
You can find your local opticians by visiting https://www.nhs.uk/nhs-services/opticians/