Welcome to Lymphoedema Awareness Week 2020
Lymphoedema affects over 400,000 people in the UK and the numbers affected are rising.
Lymphoedema is a chronic condition where failure of the lymphatic system means excess fluid is retained in the body tissues causing persistent swelling. This can affect any area of the body but most commonly the limbs and can be extremely painful. The causes of this condition can include surgery, cancer and its treatments, infection or it may be hereditary. The symptoms can impact on a person’s body image, self-esteem and cause not only physical, but emotional distress as well.
Hospice at Home West Cumbria has specialist Lymphoedema Care Service which provides assessment, delivers appropriate treatments and supports and advises patients, their families and carers in West Cumbria.
We are the only provider of this service in our area. Referrals to our Lymphoedema service come from healthcare professionals including GPs, Clinical Nurse Specialists in Palliative Care and Community Nurses.
The service we provide delivers hands-on care and the treatment provides much needed and welcome relief to our patients, improving their quality of life. Our clinics are held in West Cumberland Hospital and our Therapy, Resource and Information Centre at 10 Finkle Street, Workington. We also arrange home visits where necessary.
How do we treat Lymphoedema?
Every patient receives a comprehensive assessment by our team of specialist nurses.
Following this assessment a treatment package is tailored to the needs of our patients. This can include:
The team then offer continuing advice and support to patients and their families and carers and will amend treatment plans as needed.
British Lymphology Society- #EveryBodyCan
As part of Lymphoedema Awareness Week, the British Lymphology Society’s theme for the week is #EveryBodyCan
One of the best ways of keeping your lymphatic system healthy is to be active. The lymphatic system does not have a pump, like the heart, so we need to help it along by using our large and small muscles. Any movement is better than none and there are activities suitable for all abilities.
Activities could include walking, heel raises, doing the washing up, deep breathing, hanging out the washing or dancing to name a few things.
If you have recently developed lymphoedema and want to keep doing an activity you love, talk to our team about how you can carry on doing it, taking extra care of your condition. This could mean making sure you have the right compression, doing appropriate warm ups and making some minor adjustments.
For more information about getting moving with Lymphoedema, click on the advice below:
Once again the team at Hospice at Home West Cumbria will be taking part in the #Sockit Challenge started by British Lymphoedema Society to raise awareness about Lymphoedema. The odd sock represents the compression garments which are used as one ways of treating Lymphoedema. The campaign asks people to take photos of themselves wearing odd socks, share the image on social media and challenge another 5 people to do the same using the tags #HHWC #LymphoedemaAwareness, #Sockit.