Saturday - Health and Care
Health and Cost of Living
As the cost of food, energy and fuel increases, and with the challenges that brings, it is becoming more and more important that we give full consideration to our mental and physical wellbeing.
We are seeing evidence that cost of living increases is already negatively affecting many people's health and quality of life.
In a YouGov survey carried out in May 2022, 55% of respondents felt that increase in living costs were negatively impacting their health, 25% of this group had also had this confirmed by a medical professional.
As we head into autumn and winter, sadly people will be making some really difficult choices in relation to heating their homes and this can put people at risk of circulatory or respiratory conditions which can be exacerbated by a cold home environment. This can also affect our mental health and wellbeing. Not only is this awful for individuals but can also lead to increases in demand for Health and Social Care services.
Rising food prices are also having an effect on our health. Food prices are increasing at the fastest rate for 40 years. Fresh and less processed foods have always tended to be more expensive as a food choice. Recent grocery inflation is pushing these healthier options further out of reach for many people. As a result many are turning to cheaper, less nutritious options such as microwave meals, or cutting back on meals completely. These are extraordinary difficult situations to be in.
Oil prices have driven up fuel costs. This means many people are having to consider how and when we travel. The risk of social isolation for those who are unable to afford to travel may also lead to depression and anxiety, affecting our mental health. The impact of isolation as result of the pandemic is still being felt by many; increasing costs associated with travel will only serve to compound these issues.
Working with partners across the whole system, the NHS and Health and Social Care Partnership has an important role to play in developing local strategies to tackle the root causes of poor health.
There is universal acknowledgement that the rising cost of living is worrying and can be a cause of stress and anxiety, but there is help and advice available to assist you - as highlighted throughout Challenge Poverty Week. There are a number of helpful websites that can support you in providing practical tips for enjoying better wellbeing including;
- NHS inform www.nhsinform.scot
- NHS inform direct link to Dumfries and Galloway Services Directory here.
- Mental Health Foundation www.mentalhealth.org.uk/scotland
- Clear Your Head www.clearyourhead.scot
- Breathing Space, www.breathingspace.scot
- the Prevent Suicide DG App (downloadable on smartphones)
- dgdoingmore www.dgdoingmore.co.uk (which has lots of tips on how to keep active)
Oxfam Scotland found that unpaid carers do work worth around £36bn a year in Scotland. But they are more likely to be in Poverty. If you are a carer, please scroll down for support services available in our Region.
Support for Carers and Young Carers
A Carer is 'a person of any age who provides unpaid help and support to a relative, friend or neighbour who cannot manage to live independently without the Carers help due to frailty, illness, disability or addiction.'
If you're a carer you can find information, advice and support by contacting Dumfries and Galloway Carers Centre.
If you're between 7 and 18 years old and look after someone, you can find information and support for any problems you have as well as having fun with other young carers by contacting the Carers Centre.
Request help with Social Care
Support is available from social work if you're an older person, have a disability or are ill and having problems with day-to-day life but want to remain independent.
Sometimes your own strengths and skills or support from family and friends will help with any day to day problems you're facing. You might need more support like:
- care at home
- a simple piece of equipment
- prepared meals
- an alarm service to call for help
- day care at a local centre
- visits to a day centre
- visits to an Activity and Resource Centre
- funding to arrange personalised support
You can apply for help using the Supported Self-Assessment form, or you can call on 030 33 33 3001 or visit a Social Work Office.
Sensory Support Team
Dumfries and Galloway Council Sensory Support Team offers support to people of all ages who have hearing loss, or sight loss or both. The team supports children and adults and their families/ carers to help maintain safety, or regain independence and quality of life.
To find out more, click here:
We aim to provide information in a range of formats so that it's accessible for as many people as possible.
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