An information evening and public consultation for people living with arthritis will take place in the Anner Hotel, Thurles at 7.30pm, Wednesday, October 16.
The event is organised by Arthritis Ireland and is an opportunity for people living with arthritis in Tipperary to identify the type of activities and supports they would like to see in their community.
Jacqui Finnan is the chairperson of the new Tipperary branch of Arthritis Ireland. “We want to get a feel for the type of supports the people of Tipperary need and hope to go from strength to strength in the coming months,” she said.
“Arthritis Ireland has branches throughout the country that organise walking groups, exercise classes, support groups, information events and more. It is very positive that people in Tipperary get to say what they would like and be able to access these services on their doorstep.
“I would encourage anyone living with arthritis or indeed a family member to come along to the Anner Hotel on Wednesday evening. This is a valuable opportunity to have your voice heard and to learn a bit more about the type of activities and supports that might make a difference to your life,” she continued.
Jacqui Finan has osteoarthritis and fibromyalgia, and was in chronic pain for a number of years while waiting for an appointment to see a rheumatologist. She is a leader of the Living Well with Arthritis self-management course.
Bronwen Maher, services manager at Arthritis Ireland, stated: “One of the key goals of the new branch is to enhance the health and wellbeing of people living with arthritis in Tipperary. Bringing people together in this way creates new communities, ones where people can support one another in living with this chronic condition, while also building new friendships.”
The committee of the new Tipperary branch includes chairperson, Jacqui Finnan; treasurer, John Kinahan; and secretary, Joan Gavan.
Approximately one million people (one in five) in Ireland are living with arthritis; 170,000 of whom are under the age of 55. Some 32,000 people are affected by the condition in Tipperary. Arthritis accounts for one in three GP visits and is the biggest cause of disability in this country.
There are 18,223 people (August 2019 data) waiting to see a rheumatologist; 40 percent (6,954) of whom are waiting longer than 12 months. The number of people on the waiting list has increased from 15,997 in January – a 14 percent increase in eight months. Most people with arthritis remain in the primary healthcare system.
There are more than 100 different types of arthritis, such as osteoarthritis and a range of inflammatory diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, fibromyalgia, gout and juvenile idiopathic arthritis.
No cure exists for any form of arthritis.