National Self-Care Day
On July 24 every year, organizations and communities around the world celebrate and share self-care resources. The World Health Organization defines self-care as: what people do for themselves to establish and maintain health, and to prevent and deal with illness. It is a broad concept encompassing hygiene (general and personal), nutrition (type and quality of food eaten), lifestyle (sporting activities, leisure etc.), environmental factors (living conditions, social habits, etc.) socio-economic factors (income level, cultural beliefs, etc.) and self-medication.
It’s what we do on our own, as a family, as a community and as part of organizations to be healthy and stay healthy. This is important, especially in Waterloo Wellington where the average life expectancy is around 81.8 years. Residents are living longer but are experiencing more complex health needs than ever before.
The health and wellness of 81 per cent of Ontarians over the age of 65 is impacted by incidences of chronic illnesses like diabetes, chronic heart failure and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. More than half of these people have two or more chronic illnesses. Care for these requires support from many different parts of the health care system but most importantly, each person whose health is directly affected.
Developing good self-care habits is important for everyone, at every stage of life. This year, the theme for International Self-Care Day is “Get Better with Self-Care” a theme that aligns with our work, and a renewed focus on working with our health care partners to make sure that people in Waterloo Wellington have the information and access to the resources they need to manage their health and wellness.
- The numbers of seniors in Ontario is projected to more than double by 2036.
- It is estimated that by 2017, for the first time, seniors will account for a larger share of population than children aged 0–14.
- Lifestyle diseases – heart attack and stroke, cancer, chronic respiratory disease and diabetes – represent 63% of all annual deaths worldwide, causing an estimated 36 million deaths every year out of the global total of 57 million (WHO 2010).
- If the average person sees a doctor three times a year for 10 minutes each time (total 1/2 hour), the rest of the time (365 days x 24 hours = 8759.5 hours) is in reality self-care.
- Percentage of Senior Population by Sub-region geography
- Waterloo Wellington Overall – 14%
- Wellington – 15.9%
- KW4 – 13.4%
- Cambridge North Dumphries – 12.8%
- Guelph - 13.4%
- 8,295 seniors in Waterloo Wellington have 4 or more chronic conditions