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Preventative Care

What Is Preventative Care?

Preventative care is a form of healthcare that prevents disease, injury or illness – essentially taking steps to live well for as long as possible so that your health stays at a good overall level, rather than living an unhealthy lifestyle and then tackling subsequent health problems as they appear. It’s like regularly servicing your car so that you can pre-empt and try to stave off problems, rather than neglecting the engine and then having to deal with more serious problems later on.

Preventative care is also about how the healthcare system can try to predict problems before they appear or diagnose early, through screening and use of preventative solutions, such as vaccinations.

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Why Does Preventative Care Matter?

Preventative care is important because it means you are doing whatever is within your power to keep your health at a good level, regardless of age and ability. It is a myth that everyone has poor health the older the get; while some conditions are exacerbated by age that isn’t the case for everyone and there are things we can do for ourselves to try and prevent poor health for as long as possible.

This not only matters on a personal care level, helping us to live more comfortably for as many years as possible, it also reduces pressure on the healthcare system and means that if we do need to consult a medical professional we have more chance of an expedited appointment and a quicker course of action.


How Does Preventative Care Help Broader Healthcare Settings?

By reducing pressure on the healthcare system, preventative care means that there will be less people waiting for appointments, treatment and hospital stays, leading to a better quality of life for all people who are making use of healthcare. If we can keep ourselves healthy for as long as possible through our own efforts, it means that healthcare can be diverted to those people who are in greater need of available resources.

Our carers will be on hand to support you with whatever needs you have, with a package of care bespoke to you.


Levels of Prevention

Primordial

The primordial level of prevention involves a whole population approach to avoiding factors that are known to increase the risk of disease, rather than that which can be targeted on an individual level. This includes improving sanitation, environmental factors such as green energy to avoid pollutants and educating on healthy lifestyles from a young age.

Primary

Primary prevention is about reducing risk factors that could lead to the onset of chronic disease. This includes reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease through not smoking and eating healthily, for example.  Primary prevention also involves ensuring a greater resistance to disease through vaccinations given at key times in a person’s life, i.e. childhood vaccinations and the flu vaccine in older age.

Secondary

Secondary prevention is when certain risk factors have been identified and screening is used as an effective way of pre-empting symptoms, for instance mammograms in women identified as at greater risk of developing breast cancer. This can be because of age, genetic predisposition, pre-existing conditions or lifestyle for instance. The individual is expected to take a greater responsibility for themselves in secondary prevention, and the healthcare provider is required to engage with their patients actively.

Tertiary

The tertiary level of prevention is focussed on reversing or delaying a particular disease. If a person has been diagnosed with a condition then they will often spend more time in clinical settings or receiving higher levels of support elsewhere, for instance through nurse-led care at home. The tertiary level of preventative care is often about ensuring a person’s quality of life is as high as possible for as long as possible, regardless of life expectancy.

The tertiary level of care is when we often become involved with our customers at Helping Hands, as they are often living with chronic disease, life-limiting conditions or need regular treatment to prolong the quality of life – however, we can get involved at whatever level.


Preventative Healthcare with Helping Hands

We will become involved with the majority of our customers when they are living in the tertiary level of preventative care, usually because they are living with a condition that necessitates additional support at home.

Many of our customers are living with dementia, Parkinson’s, arthritis and many other conditions that can make it more difficult to live well without help, but we always ensure that when we are supporting our customers we are promoting their independence and encouraging them to live the best lifestyle they can. This can be through good nutrition, gentle exercise, or even singing together to a favourite song, all of which can boost a feeling of wellbeing along with prescribed medication and other nurse-led or clinical interventions. Our carers can also help you to benefit from a ‘whole-person’ holistic approach to maintaining your independence as fully as possible, which includes an integrated approach to your care through partnerships with other healthcare professionals.

If you would like to learn more about how we could be supporting you or a loved one to live your best life possible at home, call our friendly team of customer care specialists today. They’re available seven days a week for your convenience or contact us via our website.


Page reviewed by Deanna Lane, Senior Regional Clinical Lead on April 16, 2021

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