As we age, taking care of ourselves becomes even more important and essential in maintaining our health. Self-care is a term for all the ways we can improve our health and wellbeing whether it’s socialising with others, taking part in exercise or spending some time outside. Wellbeing You supports people aged over 65, living in Croydon, to improve their overall health and wellbeing and encourages awareness of self-care. Funded by Croydon Relief in Need, the programme holds local events and offers activities including leisurely walks, a monthly lunch club and movement sessions through their Welderlies programme.
Socialising over a bite to eat or a stroll in the park helps local residents develop meaningful connections, tackling feelings of isolation and loneliness. The activities also give the opportunity to learn and develop skills, with ClearCommunityWeb attending a recent lunch club to teach on how to connect with others via the internet.
Sylvia Wachuku-King is the founder and programme lead for Wellbeing You, and recently organised an event on safeguarding and ovarian cancer. The event was joined by Ovacome, an Ovarian Cancer Charity, who shared their knowledge around the signs and symptoms of ovarian cancer. Welderlies volunteers also presented on adult safeguarding, promoting the right of elderly people to live in safe conditions, free from neglect and abuse.
Meaningful partnerships with the elderly are key. The Wellbeing You programme hits the spot in encouraging self-care and is a dream which has come true for myself.”Sylvia Wachuku-King, Founder and Programme Lead for Wellbeing You.
GP Partnership Tool
Wellbeing You has also helped drive the introduction of the GP Partnership Tool, a project which aims to reduce health inequalities in older people by encouraging effective communication and harmonious relationships with clinicians. Sylvia identified that if a patient is unable to communicate with a health professional, they will not be able to access the quality care they need, resulting in unequal access to healthcare.
Sylvia decided to develop the GP Partnership Tool – a template which helps patients talk about their health issue, and map questions which they can ask during their appointment. The template also has space for patients to note down feedback, so they can keep a personal record of the help advised and get the most out of their appointment.
Brenda, who is a local resident and has used the template, says it empowers people to make the most of their GP appointment in an easy and well presented format. Brenda was an advocate of the template and has handed out more than 200 booklets to patients at her GP practice.
Sylvia continues to organise activities and events as part of the programme and is working with the NHS to drive the GP Partnership Tool to help older people living in Croydon to achieve self-care.
Find out more and contact the Wellbeing You project.