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Established 20 years ago, World Arthritis Day is a global initiative bringing people together to raise awareness of issues affecting people with rheumatic and musculoskeletal diseases (RMDs).

Each year on October 12th World Arthritis Day is celebrated, supported by a year-round campaign driven by three key aims:

·         To raise awareness of RMDs amongst the medical community, people with RMDs and the general public.

·         To influence public policy by making decision-makers aware of the burden of RMDs and the steps which can be taken to ease it.

·         To ensure all people with RMDs and their carers are aware of the vast support network available to them.

The theme World Arthritis Day 2016 is "The Future in Your Hands", recognising that every day, all around the world, people with RMDs are taking action to live their lives to the fullest and grasp the best possible future for themselves.

The theme also aims to inspire and educate others by encouraging people with RMDs to share their personal stories on social media using the hashtag #WADStory and uploading them to the World Arthritis Day website. To find out more about how to do this, and to read some of the inspirational stories already uploaded, click here.

The World Arthritis Day website is packed full of information about the annual celebration, as well as facts about RMDs and tips and support for living with them. For instance, did you know that RMDs affect a quarter of all people in the European Union – more than 120 million people?

In the Industrialised world RMDs affect more people than any other group of diseases and are the biggest reason for taking sick leave and early retirement worldwide. They place a huge economic burden on global healthcare systems, making it in every nation's interest to find new and innovative ways of treating and managing RMDs.

Self-management is a key part of managing RMDs, with people able to do a great deal themselves to minimise the effects of their condition and maximise their quality of life. The key to effective self-management of RMDs is accepting that while your condition might affect you in various ways, it does not control you.

The World Arthritis Day website has a whole section on Tips and Support designed to help people find the best ways of living with RMDs, including healthy living, healthy eating and tips on being physically active appropriate to your condition.

Here in the UK a key supporter of World Arthritis Day is Arthritis Care, the national charity and membership organisation working with and for all people with arthritis. Its website too is an invaluable resource providing a huge range of information, advice, help and support to people living with arthritis. It also has a national free helpline on 0808 800 4050.

All this week Acorn Stairlifts is partnering with Arthritis Care in support of World Arthritis Day. We've even turned our website pink to match the Arthritis Care logo.

Dave Belmont, company secretary here at Acorn Stairlifts, said: "Arthritis Care is a fantastic national charity providing a huge range of information, advice, help and support to people living with arthritis. We're delighted to team up with them to help promote World Arthritis Day on October 12th.

"Almost 60% of our customers say that arthritis is their primary reason for investing in a stairlift to improve the quality of their daily lives. With so many people living with arthritis, it's vital that we have an expert, professional and trusted organisation both serving their needs and campaigning on their behalf. Arthritis Care fulfils that role admirably."

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