Support for people living with a chronic condition
There are many support services and resources available to help you manage your chronic condition and take care of your health.
It is important that you talk with your doctor or healthcare provider about how you can become an active partner in the management of your condition. Other resources include:
- Books, guides, brochures, DVDs and other resources can provide information on your condition and how to self-manage.
- Programs run by community health services or support groups are available to help you improve self-management skills.
- Carers, family and friends who help with your care can be sources of information and support.
- Community-based services designed to assist you with daily life may also be available in your local area.
On a daily basis, people living with a chronic condition already manage their conditions to varying degrees. To manage your condition well this involves:
The video below called ‘Self-managing your long-term condition’ can also be viewed online at the WA Health YouTube channel (external site). You can also request a copy of the DVD from Health Consumers' Council WA (external site).
ConnectGroups (external site) can assist you to find support groups in your area. Joining a support group is a great way to meet and talk to others who have the same chronic condition as you.
Peak bodies such as Diabetes WA, or Arthritis Foundation WA focus on providing support for people with specific conditions.
Support for carers
Health Consumers' Council
This organisation represents the needs of health consumers in WA. Two useful resources on their website are:
- Patient First – your health in hospital
- Better Medications – a guide for safer use.
Programs for self-management
A number of organisations – including community health services, support groups and not-for-profit organisations – offer programs to help you learn how to take charge of your health and become actively involved in managing your chronic condition.
Self-management programs help people to manage:
- their condition – the symptoms, preventing new symptoms or complications, and reduce risk factors such as diet, exercise, smoking
- their emotions – fear of the future, how to tell friends and family, sadness over the consequences of a chronic condition (for example on changed work life, loss of independence)
- the impact on their daily lives – managing energy levels by changing work and family activities, setting personal priorities, making difficult decisions.
Programs are more than just education. They support the practice of problem-solving, decision-making, how to maintain relationships, how to cope with change. They also provide the opportunity to:
- practice, master and sustain new lifestyle skills
- set new goals
- reinterpret symptoms
- share experiences with others.
Programs can be generic (for any chronic condition) or specific to a particular condition or associated conditions such as anxiety or panic.
Many programs encourage carers and family members to attend.
Self-management programs can be provided in a number of formats including:
- individual or one-to-one sessions
- small group sessions
- online or DVD
- over the telephone.
To find a program for you, contact your local government office, community health organisation or ConnectGroups to find support groups or services for your condition.
- Working in partnership with health care providers and your carers can help you take control and improve your quality of life.
- Talk to your doctor and other health care providers and become actively involved in managing your condition.
- Understanding your condition and the impacts on physical, emotional and social aspects of your life, will help you to plan for your future.
Where to get help
Chronic Condition Self-Management Program
This publication is provided for education and information purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical care. Information about a therapy, service, product or treatment does not imply endorsement and is not intended to replace advice from your healthcare professional. Readers should note that over time currency and completeness of the information may change. All users should seek advice from a qualified healthcare professional for a diagnosis and answers to their medical questions.