This section contains helpful information and resources for people living with a long-term health condition.
Tips for Self-managing your Health when living with a Long-term Health Condition
There are many things that you can do to help self-manage your health when living with a long-term health condition. For further information download out information leaflet
Minding your long-term health condition videos
These short videos provide practical and clear information to support people to self-manage and to stay well.
These videos focus on:
Tips on How to Stay Physically Active Infographic ( PDF, size 3.45 MB 1 page)
Living Well - A Programme for Adults with Long-term Health Conditions
Living Well is a free group self-management programme for adults with chronic or long-term health conditions. Over 6 weeks, this HSE programme supports people to develop the confidence and skills, which help them to live well with their health condition(s).
Further information about the Living Well programme, what is covered and how to register or refer can be found here
Asthma is a common lung condition that causes breathing difficulties Read more about Asthma and how it is diagnosed, treated and managed
Asthma Action Plan
An Asthma Action Plan is a written, individual plan that contains the information you need to keep your asthma under control. It will help you to recognise asthma symptoms and provide you with information on what actions to take if your asthma symptoms are getting worse.
The Asthma Society of Ireland
The Asthma Society of Ireland provides information, education and support services to people with asthma, their carers and their families.
- Asthma Management Information and Resources: On their website, you will find information about the causes, symptoms and management of asthma. You will also find a number of resources which will help in the management of asthma such as Inhaler Technique Videos, Asthma Management Videos, Asthma Information Leaflets and Asthma Action Plans.
- Asthma Education Inclusion Project: Literacy-friendly asthma resources and materials for the Roma, Refugees, People Seeking International Protection and the Traveller community. Here you will find resources translated into Arabic, Brazilian Portuguese, French, Georgian, Pashto, Portuguese Iberian and Romanian.
- The Asthma Advice line is a free call-back service that is available to people with asthma, their parents or carers. An asthma nurse specialist will provide a 30-minute consult tailored to your education and self-management needs. Additional follow up calls are available if requested. To speak to a nurse call the Freephone number 1800 44 54 64 Monday to Friday between 9am to 5pm. The reception staff will arrange a call back at a time that suits you.
- WhatsApp nurse messaging service: This service enables people with respiratory conditions and their carers to message a respiratory nurse specialist to get support, advice and information about their condition. To start your chat, simply send a WhatsApp message to the Asthma nurse on 086 059 0132. The nurse will get back to you as soon as possible. This service is strictly for persons aged 18 yrs. and above.
Please note: The Adviceline and the WhatsApp nurse advice and support service are not emergency services.
- Webinars and Events: The Asthma Society of Ireland hosts free webinars on topical subjects related to asthma. Go to asthma.ie for upcoming webinar events.
COPD - Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is the name for a group of lung conditions that cause breathing difficulties. Read more about COPD, how it is diagnosed, treated and managed
COPD Communication Card
Your COPD communication card has information about your COPD and an action plan for you to follow. It also provides COPD self-management advice for you to follow depending on how you are feeling.
Your COPD Communication Card can help you recognise and manage a flare-up or an exacerbation of your COPD.
COPD Self-management Plan
It's important to look after your own health and wellbeing, with support from your team of health professionals. Your COPD Self-management Plan will help you to manage your condition when you are well, and to be aware of your symptoms so that you know what to do in the event of a flare-up.
Pulmonary Rehabilitation Education Support Programme
Pulmonary Rehabilitation is a specialised programme of exercise and education for people with lung problems such as COPD.
The video-based Pulmonary Rehabilitation Education Support Programme consists of 14 videos. They were developed as an additional support to people with COPD. They cover a range of topics including breathing exercises, oxygen, nutrition, and managing fatigue. The videos also cover self-management, coping skills for people living with a chronic condition, smoking cessation and managing medication.
Spirometry is a test used to diagnose and monitor lung conditions including:
- cystic fibrosis
- pulmonary fibrosis
You will breathe into a small device called a spirometer. A spirometer measures how well air moves in and out of your lungs during forced breathing.
Read more about spirometry and watch two helpful videos, which explain this test and the results
COPD Support Ireland
COPD Support Ireland provides information, support and a range of services to people with COPD and their families.
- Information on living with and managing COPD
- COPD and Me Information booklet: A printed copy can be posted out on request by calling the main number 086 041 5128 or emailing email@example.com
- COPD Videos: A series of educational videos created to support people living with and managing COPD. Some examples include Exercising with COPD, SingStrong – Singing for Lung Health in COPD and Managing COPD Exacerbations.
- COPD Advice Line: This is a Freephone service for people who want to learn more about COPD, or, who would like to discuss their COPD with a respiratory nurse. Call the free COPD Adviceline on 1800 83 21 46 to book a free telephone consultation with a COPD nurse. Lines are open Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm. This service is available to everyone with COPD, family members and carers of people with COPD as well as healthcare professionals who support people with COPD.
- COPD Ireland Peer Support Groups: These groups provide support and information to those who are living with COPD or who have a family member living with COPD. For more information on the COPD Support Groups and exercise classes in your area go to www.copd.ie/support-groups/ or Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- COPD & Me Exercise Programme: COPD Support Ireland has developed an exercise programme delivered by a trained professional, who is able to tailor the exercises to your needs and ability. These classes are designed to help improve your physical and mental health. They take place once or twice a week, either online through Zoom or in person at a local support group location, depending on the region. For more information contact COPD Support Ireland on 086-0415128 or visit http://www.copd.ie
- SingStrong – Singing for better Lung Health: SingStrong is a novel and fun way to learn and use breathing techniques through singing. The SingStrong programme has proven to be very popular and is delivered either online or in person in a small number of locations. Email SingStrong@copd.ie for more information.
Type 2 Diabetes
Diabetes can be a lifelong condition that causes a person's blood glucose (blood sugar) level to become too high.
Read more about Type 2 Diabetes, how it is diagnosed, treated and managed and what you can do to lead a healthy life.
Type 2 Diabetes Support Courses
Completing a diabetes support course is advised as part of your treatment for Type 2 Diabetes. These free courses can help you look after your diabetes and your health. Your GP or a member of your healthcare team may recommend you take part in a course as part of your diabetes care.
These courses are:
- Discover Diabetes - Type 2
They have a lot of up to date information about many aspects of living with and managing diabetes. You will also meet other people with diabetes
You can book a place online for the course that is available near you.
Diabetes can cause problems with your feet. It can affect the nerve endings and blood supply to your feet over time. You may not notice this happening.
The best way to prevent this is to keep your blood glucose to the level recommended by your GP and healthcare team and examine your feet every day.
Read more about diabetes and foot care
Foot care information leaflets
A series of leaflets on Footcare and Diabetes developed to help people living with Diabetes understand how to look after their feet
Diabetic Retina Screening
Diabetes can cause problems with your eyes. Diabetic retinopathy is caused by high blood glucose (sugar) levels damaging the back of the eye (retina). If left undiagnosed and untreated, retinopathy can cause blindness.
Retina screening is a way of detecting any changes to the small blood vessels in the lining at the back of your eye. It involves having a photo taken of your eyes with a digital camera. Regular eye screening can help detect diabetic retinopathy before you notice any changes in your sight.
Diabetic retina screening is available free of charge to people with Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes aged 12 years and older. Read more information on this important programme including how you can register.
Diabetes Ireland provides information, a range of resources and services for people with diabetes and their families.
Heart disease or Heart Condition is a term used to describe a variety of conditions that affect the heart’s structure and how it works. Read more about Coronary Heart disease (CHD), how it is diagnosed, treated and managed.
Heart failure can also occur in people with heart conditions when the heart becomes too weak to pump blood around the body. This can cause fluid to build up in the lungs, making it difficult to breathe. Heart failure can happen suddenly (acute heart failure) or gradually over time (chronic heart failure).
Find more information and resources to help you manage Heart Failure:
Heart Failure Self-management Plan
Your Heart Failure Self-management Plan will help you manage your condition. It is a guide to managing your heart failure when you are well and how to recognise if you are not so well. It also shows you what to do in the event of a flare-up.
Heart failure traffic light guide - The Heartbeat trust (PDF, 176 KB, 2 pages)
Fluid Heart Tracker App
Monitoring your weight each day is one way to identify if heart failure is getting worse or if changes to medication are required to control extra fluid.
The Fluid Heart Tracker App helps you monitor possible fluid retention by capturing your weight each day. The app removes the need for written weight logs and ensures you are alerted when your weight increases by more than two kilograms (approxim 4lbs) in a 7-day period, which can be a sign of worsening heart failure.
Find out more about the Fluid Heart Tracker App
Heart Support Network - Irish Heart Foundation
Through the Heart Support Network, the Irish Heart Foundation provides a range of resources and support services for people with heart failure and their families.
These supports include:
Heart Link West – Croí
Croí provides a range of support services to people with heart conditions and their families.
Some of these supports include:
- Heartlink West - a free telephone helpline available for those living with, or affected by, heart disease and stroke. This service is operated by Cardiac Nurse Specialists. It is available weekdays from 9am to 5:30pm. Call 091 544310 or email: email@example.com
- Heartlink West Virtual Chats takes place every Thursday at 11am on Zoom. Find more information on the topics and how to register
- Croí Connects - Croí Connects are a series of videos recorded with medical experts. These sessions answer questions that patients have asked about heart disease, stroke and lots more.
- Exercise videos - The Croí Physiotherapy and Physical Activity Team have created a series of exercise videos If you are new to exercise or if you have special health considerations, consult your healthcare professional before performing any exercise
- Exercise classes- your healthcare professional can refer you for a fitness assessment through firstname.lastname@example.org, to decide which online programme suits your needs.
- Zoom training - by learning how to use Zoom, you can access many other Croí resources. These Zoom training classes take place every Wednesday at 12pm.
Managing Your Medications
When you have a long-term health condition, taking medication is often part of the treatment plan to manage your condition. You may be taking a number of different medications at different times of the day every day. Knowing what medications, 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, 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 medications, for example, at an appointment or in an emergency
- reduce the chance of mistakes
- when requesting a repeat prescription from your GP
- when being prescribed a new medication
You can get a copy of the "My Medicines list" here or from your pharmacist. You can also ask your pharmacist or GP to print out a copy of your medicines for you. Make sure you keep a copy for yourself.
Read more about managing your medications
HSE exercise videos for people living with long-term health conditions
HSE physiotherapists have produced a series of home exercise videos. These videos are suitable for people living with long-term or chronic conditions who can exercise safely at home. The videos include a variety of 10-minute warm up, chair and gentle exercises. They also include longer full aerobic and resistance exercise sessions.
Watch exercise videos for people living with long-term health conditions