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Self-Care Measures with a Chronic Disease

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Jul 7, 2024.

What are self-care measures?

Self-care measures are steps you can take to help cope with symptoms of a chronic disease, such as arthritis, heart disease, or diabetes. Self-care measures can be used in addition to your healthcare provider's treatment and care for your disease.

What changes should I expect when I have a chronic disease?

With a chronic disease, your symptoms may make it hard for you to do your normal daily activities. You also may have some of the following symptoms:

What lifestyle changes should I make when I have a chronic disease?

The following lifestyle changes may help you manage your symptoms and feel better:

What tools can I use to help care for myself?

You may need devices to help make your daily life easier. Feeding yourself may be easier if you use forks, knives, and spoons with bigger handles. Reaching devices may help you pick up things so that you do not have to bend over or stretch. Tools such as dressing sticks, shoehorns with long handles, and button hooks help you dress yourself. A sponge with a long handle may help you wash yourself. You may need a special seat for your shower or a shower that is designed for a wheelchair. You may need a lift or other machine to help you move from your bed or chair. Ask your healthcare provider for more information about these devices.

What types of therapy may help me?

Therapy may help you adapt to changes caused by your disease, symptoms, and treatment. A physical therapist teaches you exercises to help improve movement and strength and to decrease pain. An occupational therapist teaches you skills to help with your daily activities.

When should I contact my healthcare provider?

When should I seek immediate care?

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your healthcare providers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment. The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.