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Leading compression and wound care company Lohmann & Rauscher (L&R) teams up with English actor and comedian, Johnny Vegas to launch a Healthy Living Booklet as part of its Squeeze In self-care campaign
L&R has launched the Squeeze In campaign, which aims to empower people to manage their leg health to support improved outcomes and release nursing time back to care.
As part of the campaign, L&R has developed a Healthy Living Booklet to support its ongoing commitment to promoting the importance of self-care in the management of venous leg ulcers.
The Healthy Living Booklet is an engaging and informative, easy-to-use guide aimed at helping people who are managing venous leg ulcers to Squeeze In healthier living.
It emphasises the importance of self-care in boosting self-confidence and empowering those living with a venous leg ulcer to take control of their condition, by providing them with the motivation, knowledge and guidance to improve their leg health, so they are able to live life to the fullest.
The Healthy Living Booklet explores ways in which patients, their family and carers, can manage the condition more effectively, it covers; skin care, compression advice, healthy eating including a meal plan, tips for squeezing in movement and exercise, and the value of maintaining social contact – be it virtual or in person.
In lending his support to the initiative, Johnny Vegas shared his own experience of helping his father to manage his venous leg ulcer. He stressed the importance of breaking the taboo around the condition and the value of self-care in preventing escalation, as well as helping to empower people with venous leg ulcers.
“Later in life, poor circulation meant that Dad’s mobility suffered, but equally, for someone so seemingly carefree, so did his self-confidence. Despite surviving an aneurysm and beating cancer, and being open in doing so, the condition of his legs was not up for discussion. Any query, comment or attempt to lighten the discomfort of this particular ailment was considered by him to be a bit too below the belt.”
“As a staunch ambassador of wearing socks with sandals on holiday, I thought my Dad had peaked in terms of leg embarrassment; body shame was something I never thought I would associate with him,” he said reflecting on his dad’s experience. “It became obvious that he felt that this was a stigma.”
Given his own experience, Johnny is keen to eradicate this stigma by promoting healthy conversation, as well as healthy living, as a means of better managing venous leg ulcers.
Of equal importance, he said, is the need to reassure people with venous leg ulcers that they are not a burden and that seeking medical care is a crucial step in managing the condition.
“Please don’t take the attitude that you can just ‘walk it off’ or try to forget about,” he said. “Consult your doctor; ask for help – addressing issues early will really help in giving you tips on how you can work preventative measures into your daily routine. It’s like running a car; if you run it into the ground it can often be too late to fix it.”
On the launch of the Squeeze In campaign, Rachael Sykes, marketing director UK & Ireland, L&R said: “Changing the lives of those affected by venous leg ulceration and venous disease is at the heart of what we do. We are therefore delighted to be able to launch the Squeeze In campaign to support the mission towards driving the self-care agenda, which is even more necessary right now in light of the Covid-19 pandemic.”
The value of self-care
Self-care is key to enabling people to take individual responsibility for their health, with support from health professionals. It is particularly empowering for people who have chronic conditions, such as venous leg ulcers.
It gives people who are able and want to self-manage the opportunity to take greater control of their condition, whether that is to reduce the number of home visits from health professionals, to being able to get out and about more frequently. It also releases time back to care, enabling health professionals to spend more time with people who are unable to take an active role in their own care.
As a movement, self-care is also crucially important in alleviating pressure on the NHS in terms of resources, time and budget.
Venous leg ulcers are estimated to affect around 1 in 500 people in the UK, rising to 1 in 50 in people aged over 80 years old. Leg ulcers affect many adults with poor circulation.
Symptoms of venous leg ulcers include a wound to lower limb, pain, itching and swelling in the affected leg. People who have previously had deep vein thrombosis (DVT) or find it difficult to walk because of health concerns such as osteoarthritis, a leg injury, obesity and/or paralysis are at greater risk of developing a venous leg ulcer.
Risk is also increased in people who have had an operation on their leg, for example, a knee or hip replacement, and for those who have swollen and enlarged veins.