Though they have different histories and cultures, Mexico and the UK are facing a surprising number of similar problems when it comes to social isolation and older people. Dionisio Garcia lays out the case for a Circle Movement in Mexico.
Wellogram is a service that focuses on an individual’s wellness rather than their illness.
Wellogram provides support and tools to help create a lifestyle that makes you feel good, whilst also connecting you to others doing the same.
One of the most important things to remember about Wellogram is that we recognise that the patient is the expert in their own lives and that our team are here to offer them the opportunity to explore and discover their potential.
The percentage of the UK population living with long term conditions is constantly rising at an almost epidemic rate. Such an increase is causing a serious economical strain on the country a strain that cannot be sustained if current trends continue. However, it is a strain that could be reduced through the prevention and better self-management of such conditions.
Wellogram is really making a real difference to people’s lives. An example of such is, Sam*. Sam is a 50 year old female with a BMI of 38. This puts her in the ‘obese’ category of weight which in turn increases her risk of developing a number of chronic health conditions.
Sam was referred to Wellogram following a conversation she had with her GP regarding her weight, the negative impact it was having on her health and her possible prognoses, if her lifestyle was to continue as it was. Following years of dipping in and out of unsuccessful dieting, Sam, under the reccommendation of her GP decided to give Wellogram a shot.
I remember Sam* coming into her first Wellness consultation. Sam arrived with a manner that seemed quiet reluctant and defensive. She admitted to coming along to appease her doctor. She was fed up of having family, friends and health professionals constantly telling her she must lose weight.
Sam* is a full time carer for her Mum. She worried that, if she was to get ill or if her weight was to continue to increase and her mobility became even more reduced, she would no longer be able to look after her mum.
Sam* also admitted to having refused to get into family pictures over the past few years, as she was not happy with the way that she looked.
It’s clear that it is not just the physical weight that is impacting on Sam’s* life. Her weight is also having a dramatic negative impact on her self-confidence and how she perceives herself. After a relatively in-depth conversation Sam* had a focus and had set some specific actions of what she was going to do to get her journey started. Leaving the surgery that day Sam decided to;
- Have breakfast every day this week
- Drink a set amount of water (a glass with each meal & 2 more throughout the day)
- Keep healthy snacks nearby (particularly in the evening)
- Tell family and ask them for support (ask brother to stop bringing large portions of chocolate & sweets to the house. Instead, just bring one portion for her mother)
These actions may seem very basic, almost pedantic. However, the principle of Wellogram is to set actions that are manageable. The key is to focus on doing a limited number of specific actions on a regular basis, so as to allow them become automatic actions in your everyday life. In turn, increasing your chances of sticking to your goal.
Since Sam’s* first consultation she has been back to the surgery on a number of occasions. On two of these occasions, Sam has brought members of her family along and it appears that she is really using her social network to help her achieve her goal and stay motivated. In the space of 6weeks, Sam* has lost 7KG. She reports feeling lighter (and apparently that’s not just a reference to the lost kilos), more confident that she can reach her goal this time, having more energy, loving fruit and veg again, replacing unhealthy snacks in the evening with healthier alternatives. She has also, had her photograph taken at her sisters birthday and has stuck it on her fridge as a means to spur her on. She plans to get a nice family portrait taken next year, as a gift to her mum. She has achieved all of this, in a way that feels has not been a major struggle or sacrifice. Oh, and she is enjoying it!
The aim for Wellogram and services of a similar nature is that we can give back some level of control over life to other patients, similar to Sam*. Also, that, it can be seen by health professionals as a recognised tool to work alongside and support any other medical treatments their patients may be receiving. Any of the progress to date would not have been achievable without the support and work of the multi-disciplinary team. We must also remember that a consistent relationship with the patient is key here. The success is in the story above.