• Accessibility A A A
  • Google Translate

Self-care

Managing health conditions

|   Flu   |   Dementia   |   Stroke   |   Shingles   |  Vaccinations  | 


Flu 

When the weather is cold it is particularly important for certain groups to get their flu vaccination. Flu can turn serious very quickly for high risk groups and in some extreme cases it can even be fatal. 

Over 65 You are eligible for a free vaccination if you are:

  • Pregnant 
  • Living with an underlying health condition (particularly long-term heart or lung disease)
  • Living with a weakened immune system 
  • A child aged two, three and four on August 31 2015 
  • A carer for someone with an underlying health condition or a frontline health or social care worker 

Children can receive their vaccination from the GP as a nasal spray instead of a needle injection. The nasal spray is quick, painless, and effective.

Adults can get the vaccine via their GP, or, alternatively, at many local pharmacies.



Dementia
The early signs of dementia can seem very much like ordinary behaviour at first, as they can begin very mild and easily overlooked. However, getting help early on makes a huge difference to care and treatment options for dementia, so if you are worried about yourself or someone else, make an appointment with your GP straight away.

The main symptoms of dementia are issues with:

  • Memory loss 
  • Thinking speed 
  • Mental agility 
  • Language 
  • Understanding 
  • Judgement

If you are caring for someone who has already been diagnosed with dementia, it is important to pay even more attention than usual to their environment, as they may become less aware of things like temperature, hygiene, and safety.

Make sure:

  • Their home is heated to 18 degrees celsius (64.4 degrees fahrenheit) 
  • They can easily access the toilet 
  • They have comfortable warm clothes which do not present the potential for confusion such as complicated buttons, ties, or zips

There is lots of useful information about dementia online. Visit www.nhs.uk/conditions/dementia-guide or contact your GP.



Stroke
If you suspect someone may have had a stroke, don’t panic, but do act F.A.S.T. 

The acronym F.A.S.T will help you remember how to tell if someone has had a stroke and what steps to take if so.

Face – Has their face fallen on one side? Can they smile and control facial muscles?
Arms – Can they raise both arms and keep them there?
Speech – Is their speech slurred?
Time – Time to call 999 if you spot any of these warning signs.

Visit the NHS Act Fast – Stroke website for more information: www.nhs.uk/actfast/Pages/stroke.aspx If you are still not sure whether somebody needs emergency care, call 111 to speak to our trained staff.



Shingles
Shingles is a rash caused by the same virus that causes chickenpox. The virus causes an infection of a nerve and the skin around it, which leads to painful blistering.

Early symptoms include:

  • A headache
  • Burning, tingling, numb or itchy skin
  • A high temperature or fever

As the condition grows more severe you may experience a dull, burning pain or short stabbing pains. The shingles rash is likely to appear at first as red blotches on your skin which slowly turn into itchy blisters.

You are at high risk of shingles if you:

  • Are over 65
  • Are stressed
  • Have a weakened immune system for example from medication, from pregnancy, or from an existing condition such as HIV/AIDS

If you are worried about contracting shingles you should make an appointment with your GP. They will be able to give you a diagnosis and advise you on the right treatment. If you are aged between 70 and 80 you may be entitled to a shingles vaccine free on the NHS.

Ask at your GP practice to find out more.

Vaccinations


Vaccinationsinfographic

NHS Choices have more information about vaccinations and immunisation schedules and when to have them. Find out more here