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Living with a Long Term Condition

Updated: Nov 12, 2019

A long term condition is a health condition that at present cannot be cured, but can be controlled by medicine and therapies(1). Long term conditions are usually more prevalent in the older generation and as well in more deprived social groups. In Northern Ireland for example, long term conditions or chronic conditions are likely to see an increase in the population due to the increasing population size and because the NI population is continuing to live longer meaning the number of people over the age of 60, for example, will also increase(2).

We have listed some of the most common long term conditions today and some useful resources, links, books ect. to help with understanding what it is like to live with a long term health condition.

1. Pain

Pain is obvious, some of us have a higher threshold to pain than others but we have all experienced some form of physical pain in our lifetime, a broken arm for example. However, chronic pain or persistent pain is not so obvious. Chronic pain is pain that carries on for longer than 12 weeks even after medical treatment.

In 2016 the British Pain Society found that Chronic pain affects more than two-fifths of the UK population, meaning that around 28 million adults were living with pain that lasted for three months or longer.

People Living with Pain

Online support and resources for those living with chronic pain

10 Ways to Reduce Pain NHS self-help steps to support and guide those to reduce their pain.

Pain Toolkit Pain toolkit for Healthcare professionals and people with chronic pain.

Overcoming Chronic Pain: A Self-Help Guide Using Cognitive Behavioural Techniques.

(Frances Cole, Hazel Howden-Leach, Helen Macdonald, Catherine Carus)

Managing Your Pain: Practical and Positive Ways of Adapting to Chronic Pain.

(Nicholas Muchael, Allan Molloy, Lee Beeston)

Pain is Really Strange

(Steve Haines, Sophie Standing)

2. Alzheimer's Disease

Alzheimer’s is a physical disease that affects the brain. It is named after Alois Alzheimer, the first doctor to describe it and Alzheimer's disease is the most common cause of dementia.(3) Dementia is the name given to the symptoms including; memory-loss, difficulties with language, problem-solving and issues with general knowledge.

Alzheimer’s Disease International has stated that someone develops dementia every 3 seconds & expect that by 2030, 75 million people will have dementia.(4)

Symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease

List of the most common symptoms associated with Alzheimer's disease.

3. Arthritis

Arthritis is defined as 'inflammation to a joint or joints’ (5). Used to describe where a joint is inflamed, causing stiffness, warmth, swelling and ultimately pain. Arthritis Research’s ‘Versus Arthritis’ states that around 10 million people in the UK suffer from the condition (6).

Managing Your Pain

Online information to help those individuals who seek to learn how to better manage their pain and the different types of treatments available.

Working with Arthritis

Arthritis Foundation’s blog on arthritis & the workplace.

Arthritis: A Practical Guide to Getting on With Your Life.

(Chris Jenner)

Exercise Your Way to Health: Arthritis

(Paula Coates)

4. Stroke

Many people are aware of what a stroke is or what a stroke may look like in those people that have unfortunately suffered from one but did you know that a stroke happens as a result of a sudden interruption in the blood supply of the brain and that most strokes are caused by an abrupt blockage of arteries to the brain? (7)

Stroke Associations 2018 FAST test: This test is used to spot the signals that somebody is having a stroke

Face can the person smile? Has their face fallen on one side?

Arms Can the person raise both arms and keep them there?

Speech: Can the person speak clearly? Is their speech slurred?

Time: If you see any of these three signs, it's time to call 999

How I Rescued My Brain: A Psychologist’s Remarkable Recovery From Stroke and Trauma.

(David Roland)

Rebuilding Your Life After Stroke: Positive Steps to Well being

(Reg Morris, Mallin Falck)

Stroke: The Facts

(Richard I. Lindley)

5. Diabetes

Type 1

A serious, lifelong condition where your body glucose level is too high because your body cannot produce a hormone called insulin. Around 8% of people with diabetes in the UK have Type 1 diabetes and still today it is unclear as to why Type 1 happens.

Type 2

A serious condition where the insulin your pancreas makes cannot work properly, or your pancreas cannot make enough insulin. Around 90% of people in the UK with diabetes have Type 2 diabetes

Diabetes for Dummies

(Alan L. Rubin, Sarah Jarvis)

Diabetes: The Facts

(David Matthews, Niki Meston, Pam Dyson)

Type 2 Diabetes in Adults of All Ages: How to Become an Expert on Your Own Diabetes

(Charles Fox, Anne Kilvert)



Living With a Long Term Condition

Self Care Toolkit

Dignity in Care (VIDEO)

Chronic Conditions (SLIDESHOW)










Ryan Owens


Voscuris Ltd

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