Arthritis Australia and in-home-care provider Home Instead Senior Care have developed a comprehensive guide for the management and care of people with arthritis.

Arthritis covers a range of conditions affecting the joints including osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, gout and ankylosing spondylitis. Most arthritis types are chronic and incurable and symptoms can flare up or ease from day to day.

Nearly one in five people live with arthritis, and it is important to be alert to the symptoms to enable early diagnosis and prevent further damage, Home Instead co-founder Sarah Warner says.

But Warner says with the right support and a combination of exercise, medication and lifestyle changes people with arthritis can remain at home as they age.

Caring and Arthritis: Practical advice for carers and people living with arthritis covers medication, diet, exercise, pain, fatigue and complementary therapies. It contains chapters on understanding arthritis, recognising symptoms, planning ahead and taking care of the caregiver. It also contains a list of additional resources including fact sheets and support services.

The guide takes the position that with the right treatment and support, most people with arthritis can learn to cope with their symptoms and lead a full and rewarding life.

It also acknowledges the challenge of finding the right balance between providing support and being overprotective of someone with arthritis, and  is designed help carers and careworkers know “when to offer help or when to stand back”.

The resource is available here.

The release of the guide coincides with World Arthritis Day on October 12.

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