Community Health – A Carers Perspective


Until recently I haven’t really given a lot of thought to community health. As the COVID-19 pandemic still continues to play a huge part in 2021 (and perhaps years to come) it got me thinking about healthy communities and the part in which we can all play to contribute to a healthier society.

The WHO defines community health as environmental, social, and economic resources to sustain emotional and physical well-being among people in ways that advance their aspirations and satisfy their needs in their unique environment.

As we continue to navigate the continuous change in health, it’s important for us all to play our part and contribute to a healthy community.

Putting Covid aside for a moment there are multiple health issues that need to be addressed and we need to start the conversation and work together as a community.

Common health conditions that are currently a risk to people in our community (Australia) according to National Health Survey

  • Mental and behavioural conditions – 4.8 million people (20.1%)
  • Back problems – 4.0 million people (16.4%)
  • Arthritis – 3.6 million people (15.0%)
  • Asthma – 2.7 million people (11.2%)
  • Diabetes mellitus – 1.2 million people (4.9%)
  • Heart, stroke and vascular disease –1.2 million people (4.8%)
  • Osteoporosis – 924,000 people (3.8%)
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) – 598,800 people (2.5%)
  • Cancer – 432,400 people (1.8%)
  • Kidney disease – 237,800 people (1.0%)

The risk factors are straight forward:

  • Obesity
  • Poor diet
  • Smoking/alcohol consumption
  • No physical activity

Your age and genes also contribute to your risk of being diagnosed with one of the many health issues experienced by people in the community.

So, do you play your part to contribute to good community health? It’s ok if you answered no because it’s never too late to make a change! It’s all about having access to the support and education we need to be on our way to good health.

The Department of Health is steadily stepping up to offer different programs and initiatives to promote better health. You can find out more information about current implementations by clicking What we are doing about chronic health conditions

There is seriously so much information out there from reliable sources about how we can improve community health, you can do some research in your own time. My aim today was to start the conversation and get us thinking and talking. In relation to Covid; now is not the time to get complacent. There are clusters and new cases circulating in our communities on a daily basis, and the people most at risk of contracting the virus are those listed in the categories above.

So, what are some simple things you can do to contribute to a healthier community?

  • Educate yourself and others
  • Start the conversation
  • Take responsibility
  • Lead a healthier lifestyle
  • Regular health check-ups with your Dr
  • Contribute to general well-being
  • Check on family/neighbours/friends who are isolated
  • Stress management

Prevent the spread of Covid:

  • Wash your hands/use hand sanitisers
  • Wear a mask when required
  • Maintain social distancing
  • Stay home if you are feeling unwell
  • Don’t touch your eyes, nose or mouth
  • Practice cough/sneeze etiquette

According to the new (26/2/19) Australia is the seventh healthiest country in the world. So yes, we have made it into the top 10, but can we do better? Let’s all play our part and get to the top of the ladder

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My name is Kellie Cooper-Smith and providing great Palliative Care is my passion. Two years ago, I was given the opportunity to participate in specialised Palliative Care training and began working as a Community Palliative Care Worker where I assisted people with terminal illness to die as they wished in their homes. Since then I have also become qualified in Community Services, Health Services Assistance (Assistant in Nursing) and Allied Health.

My goal is to help bridge the gaps in Palliative Care, one way I can do this is to share my knowledge and skills with the community and offer my advice and practical guidance to families who are caring for a loved one with a life limiting illness. In my work practice I follow a holistic and person-centred approach looking at each person as an individual, encompassing mind, body and spirit.


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