Chances are, you know someone affected by arthritis. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), data from this year shows that 52.5 million (22.7%) of adults have self-reported doctor-diagnosed arthritis.
Although commonly believed to just affect the elderly, arthritis affects people of all ages and can greatly decrease your quality of life. People living with arthritis are unable to perform everyday tasks in the same way they could before, without pain. Visit the Arthritis Foundation to learn more about diagnosing arthritis and living with the symptoms.
Living with arthritis or other rheumatic and musculoskeletal diseases (RMDs) is not easy, but there are things you can do to help others who are suffering, even if it’s just a simple action of support.
Today is World Arthritis Day. Founded in 1996, World Arthritis Day seeks to raise awareness about rheumatic and musculoskeletal diseases and to improve the quality of life of those living with RMDs. Here’s how you can get involved to help raise awareness and offer support.
There are many ways you can get involved. You can make a big difference through a few small actions, or you can make an even bigger impact by involving other people in your efforts.
If you are looking to get involved with an organization, you can download a tool kit at the official website. Your company or organization can hold a fundraising event, informational meeting, or distribute pamphlets.
If you want to get involved individually, you can join the High 5 Campaign.
High 5 Campaign
The High 5 Campaign is a social media campaign designed to share support for the RMD community using the hashtag #WADHigh5. Here’s how you can participate:
- Using a dark marker so it will show up in your picture, write the name of someone you know who is suffering from a RMD on your hand.
- Have someone take a picture of you mimicking a high five. Make sure the camera can read the name on your hand.
- Upload your picture to Instagram or Twitter with a message explaining why you support the RMD community. Don’t forget the hashtag! #WADHigh5
Support the RMD community all year long, not just on World Arthritis Day. Research arthritis and understand the symptoms and associations with it. This will help you better understand what someone with an RMD is going through and know how to support them.
You can also help loved ones with arthritis by assisting them in their daily tasks, driving them to medical appointments and therapies, and offering words of encouragement.
People with joint pain might need to make significant dietary changes. You can support them by making these changes with them in your own diet, cooking them meals, or shopping for food that complies with their dietary needs. You can look at this 7-day meal plan full of anti-inflammatory recipes for ideas.
You can also offer to do simple chores around the house. The pain of performing tasks that are now difficult to someone with an RMD can be frustrating. Heat can soothe pain in swollen joints. Offer loved ones with these pains heating pads. You can even make your own.