Self care and wellbeing at Birchwood House

Self care and wellbeing at Birchwood House

‘Self care’ is a buzzword that is frequently used today, especially amongst many millennials. But what does it mean, how does it apply to elderly people – and how do we approach it here at Birchwood House?

According to World Health Organisation (WHO), self care is “what people do for themselves to establish and maintain health, and to prevent and deal with illness.”

Self care is an approach to health, which focuses on the individual playing an active role in your own healthcare and wellbeing. It encourages a range of healthy habits and activities that cover everything from your diet to your social life and can be a mindset, activity, practice or habit that we employ to guard against stress, unhappiness, illness and depression – and it is just as important for teenagers as it is for those over 65!

Whether it’s having a haircut, taking a painkiller for a headache, a walk in the sunshine or eating a piece of fruit, self care can be very simple. It’s about managing those aspects of your own care that help you to feel well and that you can do for yourself.

At Birchwood House we encourage self care and mental wellbeing but of course we understand that for some residents, self care can be challenging to achieve, so there are plenty of ways in which we can help.

We have regular visits from expert professionals who run activities designed to promote mental engagement and wellbeing. We have weekly visits from a hairdresser, a chiropodist who comes in every six weeks and a monthly visit from the local vicar. We also have a visiting GP who comes twice a week and calls in regularly, as well as an optician and dentist who visit as required. We run ‘Music For Health’ sessions once or twice a month and structured reminiscences run by a qualified therapist which encourage the residents to talk about the past, as well as plenty of other activities, including board games and crafts. We also enjoy regular trips to places of interest – the beach at Hastings, Hever Castle, Hadlow College, Teapot Island and garden centres are some of our favourites!

With help and support from our own staff and visiting professionals, our aim is that Birchwood House residents maintain a sense of self care, dignity and independence, which in turn contribute to feelings of wellbeing and happiness.

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