Resources for people living with a long-term health condition

When you have a long-term health condition, there are plenty of things you can do to help manage your health.

Resources available for people living with:

Tips for self-managing your long-term health condition

Learn about your condition, what it is, how to manage it and how it may impact your life.

Your healthcare team can:

  • help you understand your condition
  • help you learn to manage and live well with it
  • help you to recognise the symptoms that tell you when you need to look for help

They may also:

  • provide you with written information
  • direct you to trusted websites or organisations

Tips for self-managing your long-term health condition - booklet (PDF, 5.7 MB, 27 pages)


Being able to talk to your healthcare team is an important part of self-management. They may be an expert on your condition. Nobody knows more than you do about your body and how your health condition affects you.

Healthcare professionals may use medical language that is normal for them. If you are having trouble understanding, do not be afraid to ask for a clearer explanation.

Be prepared 

Attend all your GP and hospital appointments and bring a list of your questions to get the best out of your time.

Bring a copy of your 'Medicines List’ to the appointment. If you do not have an up to date list bring the medicines and inhalers, you are taking, with you.

Take notes during the appointment so you can remember the information discussed. Bring someone with you for support if you wish

Know where to look for support

Support can come from many sources - your healthcare team, family and friends. Some people find it helpful to join a support group and to talk with other people who have the same condition.

Ask your healthcare team about support groups in your area.


Preventing flu, pneumonia and other infections is an important step in self-management.

There are vaccines available, which help protect against preventable infections such as flu and pneumococcal disease.

Having a long-term health condition can make it harder to fight these infections. You can also be at risk of complications if you get these infections.

Getting the recommended vaccines is an important part of self-management.

Ask your doctor, nurse or pharmacist about the vaccines recommended for you

Healthy lifestyle

Making healthier lifestyle choices can help you to manage your long-term health condition. It can also help reduce the risk of developing other health conditions.

Good steps to take for your health include:

  • eating a healthy diet 
  • trying to achieve a healthier weight 
  • being as active as you can be
  • stopping smoking 
  • reducing or cutting out alcohol 
  • getting a good night’s sleep

Pace yourself

Pacing is carrying out activities over time and not carrying them all out at once. It’s better to do a smaller amount every day than tiring yourself by doing too much at one time.

Pacing can be helpful for people with long-term health conditions. It means carrying out activities over time and not carrying them all out at once.

It’s better to do a smaller amount every day than tiring yourself by doing too much at one time.

Everyone’s ability and health condition is different. Pay attention to your body and how you are feeling doing regular tasks.

Mind your mental health

The emotional effects of a long-term health condition can be difficult. Managing such a condition can increase the stress of everyday life. Caring for both your physical and mental health can help you cope better with your condition.

It is important to talk about your feelings. Talk with people you respect and trust such as your family, friends or your healthcare team. Look for help if negative feelings interfere with your ability to enjoy life.

Join a HSE Living Well Programme

Living Well is a free group self-management programme for adults with long-term health conditions. It runs over 6 weeks. It can help you to develop skills and confidence to live well with a health condition.

Living Well Programme

Manage your medicine

When you have a long-term health condition, taking medicine can be part of the treatment plan to manage your condition. You may be taking many different medicines at different times of the day every day.

Know your medicines

It is important to learn about the medicines prescribed for you. Knowing what medicines you take and how you take them helps everyone involved to make correct decisions about your care. Healthcare professionals need to know all of the medicines you are taking. They will need to check that medicines and combinations are effective and safe.

Having an up-to-date, written or printed list of your medicines can help when:

  • you might not be able to remember your medicines, for example, at an appointment or in an emergency
  • you are attending a new doctor
  • you are going into hospital
  • requesting a repeat prescription from your GP
  • a new medicine is prescribed

My Medicines list

Use the 'My Medicines list' to add all your medicines. You can bring this list with you to health appointments.

It should list all of the medicine that you are taking. This includes all prescription and non-prescription medicine. Non-prescription medicine is often known as over the counter (OTC) medicine.

Your list should also include any vitamin or mineral supplements.

Ask your GP or pharmacist to print out a list of the medicines that you are taking.

You can also download and print the My medicines list (PDF, 834KB 2 pages).