October 12, 2022 is World Arthritis Day.
What is World Arthritis Day?
World Arthritis Day first occurred in 1996, and was established by an association called ‘Arthritis and Rheumatism international’ (ARi). It is a day to raise awareness on the condition, showing those who may not be aware, how impactful it can be on one’s mental and physical health.
Why is World Arthritis Day Important?
World Arthritis Day is important as it provides an opportunity for light to be shed on a condition that is often overlooked and its impact underestimated. Arthritis can greatly affect one’s ability to live the life they want to, and its physical and mental impact can be quite significant. However, it is often seen as a condition that is not that severe and that only impacts older people. World Arthritis Day is a chance for people within the community, as well as medical professionals to raise awareness on breaking the stigma and assumptions around the condition.
What should I do on World Arthritis Day?
There are different ways that you can show acknowledgement for World Arthritis Day. Here are a couple examples of things you can do.
1. Take care of your own health
It is so easy to get caught up in life, taking care of others, working and then becoming less focused on one’s own health. Take World Arthritis Day as a reminder of how important your own health is. There are a couple of ways to do this. For example, you could make that appointment you have been putting off. It can be stressful to attend appointments, especially when you feel worried about the potential outcome. However, reminding yourself that it is always better to get on top of things before they get worse – than ignoring them – is very important.
Another thing you can do is practice self-care. Self-care can mean many things, and doesn’t necessarily mean doing something luxurious or over the top. Self-care for you could be: cooking yourself a balanced meal, taking a long walk, doing an exercise class/activity, prioritising a good night’s sleep, spending time with your family/friends or other simple things that add to your mental or physical health. These are only a couple of things that you can do to mark World Arthritis Day (and continue to do moving forward!)
2. Try to raise awareness
There are many different ways in which you can raise awareness about arthritis. One way you can raise awareness is by speaking to others about arthritis and how it impacts one’s life. Share with your friends, family, coworkers or through social media, and help break down some of the stigma or myths around life with arthritis. You could also join different organisations based in the UK as a volunteer, and try to help spread awareness that way!
How does Ampersand Health help people with arthritis?
At Ampersand, we offer a variety of tools and resources for people living with arthritis, with the hopes of helping them live confidently with their condition. We do this through:
1. The My Arthritis app
My Arthritis is a free mobile app that we created to help individuals with inflammatory forms of arthritis self-manage their condition more easily. It offers many features, such as a symptoms tracker, medication and appointment reminders, a regularly updated newsfeed and a library of articles. The app also offers a collection of courses made specifically for those living with arthritis, on topics such as medication adherence, general wellbeing and sleep. The My Arthritis app is being used by hospitals across the NHS to help improve communication between patients and their doctors, and to allow doctors to remotely monitor their patients in between appointments (so that patients are seen when they need it the most!).
2. Community events
We host regular online community events, from social meetups to ‘Ask a Clinician’ sessions, we want to give the arthritis community a chance to come together regularly, meet others, ask questions and learn! To see what events we have coming up, check out our events page. When you register for the My Arthritis app, you are automatically added to our mailing list and will receive links to register for events directly to your email!
3. Social media
We love to bring people together – and social media is a great place to communicate and share stories with one another. We have an Instagram and Facebook page, where you can hear about upcoming events, read great articles and connect with others in the community.
4. Articles and resources
We regularly publish articles on our website, talking about some of the most popular topics that you want to read about. We also share stories from community members through our articles. If you want to share your story with us and the Ampersand Health community, let us know by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org!