Independence can be empowering – giving you the ability to make decisions for yourself. However, levels of independence can change as a result of mental or physical health. Taking small steps to maintain independence is important so throughout February, Warwickshire County Council (WCC) will be sharing some helpful advice using #TakeCareofYou across social media.
Messages and services supporting independence will be promoted across four different themes: helping yourself, protecting yourself, becoming independent and staying independent.
Fittingly, with Time to Talk Day taking place on 6 February 2020, WCC will start the campaign with a focus on mental health as staying mentally well can help you to maintain independence. There are a range of services available across Warwickshire to support people who are struggling to cope or feeling low and demotivated. For further information visit https://www.warwickshire.gov.uk/mentalhealth
In later life our independence can change but with the right help in place, people can enjoy activities and freedom to explore as much as possible. For example, there are services to reduce the risks of falls and fractures to maximise physical wellbeing. You can also maintain independence by using AskSARA, an online tool that gives guided advice and tailored products to make daily living easier – https://asksara.dlf.org.uk/?auth=warwickshire
The council has a Hospital Social Prescribing Service offering support to patients at Warwick Hospital, Nuneaton’s George Eliot Hospital and St Cross Hospital in Rugby which gives better access to available support in Warwickshire. The service is run by AgeUK and helps people to access non-medical services to manage their own physical and mental health better and can encourage them to make lasting changes to their lifestyles, so they stay well.
Not only is it important to help yourself to be independent but there are also steps you can take to protect yourself such attending screenings and getting immunisations like the flu jab. Did you know, that if you are aged between 40 and 74 you are eligible for a free NHS Health Check? A check-up is designed to spot early signs of stroke, kidney disease, heart disease, type 2 diabetes or dementia. To book a health check call your GP or for more information visit https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/nhs-health-check/
Having a baby is another key life milestone where independence may be affected. 1 in 5 mothers and 1 in 10 fathers face mental health issues, including stress, anxiety and depression during pregnancy and a child’s early years. There are lots of services in Warwickshire which can offer help and support – for some advice and tips on taking care of a dependent youngster or information on professional services for anyone feeling lonely, anxious or struggling to cope visit: www.warwickshire.gov.uk/children-families/help-new-expectant-parents
The council also promotes child safety and accident prevention and ways that you can protect your children in and out of the home. It is also important that children start to become independent as they reach school age so WCC will be sharing some useful videos on topics such as school readiness and oral health so that children are independent, interactive and interested throughout their development.
And finally, the campaign will share tips on nutrition and exercise to keep everyone in Warwickshire physically and mentally well for as long as possible.