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Arthritis leads to fears over future independence

12:00am | & Health

In Tuesday’s blog we highlighted a new survey from leading UK charity Arthritis Care, revealing the hidden impact of arthritis on mental wellbeing.

Throwing light on this too-often-unseen aspect of arthritis – a condition affecting around 10 million people in the UK alone ­– is the main thrust of Arthritis Care Week 2017, which is urging people to “Wake up to Arthritis”.

Arthritis Care’s survey of more than 3,000 people across the UK living with arthritis had some startling results. It showed that 79% of those with arthritis felt anxious or depressed because of it, and it was most pronounced in those whose pain and other symptoms were more severe. Half of those surveyed felt isolated and lonely because of their arthritis – not surprising since 80% had given up activities they enjoyed, leaving them more socially isolated and losing contact with friends.

But one of the highest figures from the survey, and one of the most concerning, was that 89% of those surveyed – virtually 9 out of every 10 – worried how their arthritis would affect their future independence. One of the survey respondents wrote: “I am seriously worried about the future, and yet I try to remain positive and proud of the way I deal with this every day.”

Another added: “The biggest challenge is not knowing – not knowing if my treatment will continue to work, not knowing if another flare-up will be worse, not knowing if arthritis will affect my ability to work in the future. It causes me anxiety at times.”

Now Arthritis Care is calling on Government and health services to take steps to alleviate the concerns of people living with arthritis over their ability to live full and independent lives in the future. It wants:

  • Improved support from health and social care authorities in developing written care and support plans for all people with arthritis, covering their physical and mental wellbeing in the context of their lives.
  • More information about support organisations to be offered as standard whenever someone is diagnosed with arthritis, so they can access help in managing their condition and emotional support when needed.
  • Improved provision of social care services, so people with arthritis can get vital help with everyday tasks in their own home, helping them stay independent for longer and lead full and active lives.

In the meantime, Arthritis Care’s website has a wealth of information and advice on Living with Arthritis, with sections on managing pain and fatigue, healthy eating, exercising with arthritis and ways to cope at work. The charity also operates a free and confidential helpline on 0808 800 4050.

Acorn Stairlifts has worked closely with Arthritis Care to better understand the needs of people with arthritis and tailor our stairlifts to meet those needs. Arthritis, in its many forms, is the biggest reason why people invest in an Acorn Stairlift and we are proud to be the only manufacturer awarded the prestigious ‘Ease-of-Use’ commendation by the Arthritis Foundation. It reflects design features such as the ergonomic light-touch control panels fitted to both arms of all Acorn Stairlifts.

When arthritis leads to reduced mobility, or increased pain in the joints when moving, using the stairs can become a real challenge. Installing an Acorn Stairlift is one of the best ways for people with reduced mobility to retain their independence, not only staying in the home they love, but enjoying full use of it.

Acorn Stairlifts’ Medical Advisor Dr Hilary Jones writes: “For everyday practical help there are many important considerations amongst which, at the top of the list, must surely be a stairlift.

“A stairlifts is an essential accessory that so many of my own patients have benefited from in this situation. Suiting the exact needs of the individual, it overcomes the barrier of whatever type of stairs are there, and is easy to operate.”

If you are worried about your future independence and think a stairlift will help, why not book a free, no obligation visit by one of Acorn Stairlifts’ experienced surveyors. Our surveyor will assess your needs, precisely measure your stairs, advise on the most suitable design of stairlift and provide a comprehensive quote, valid for 12 months and with no hidden extras. Call now on 0800 073 9775 to speak to an Acorn Stairlifts advisor and book your home survey.

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