Getting to know arthritis
Whether you have a loved one in our care or are thinking of entrusting us with the care of someone you love, it can be very helpful to learn more about arthritis. It can help you to better care for the ones you love and help you to make better informed choices with them or on their behalf.
Arthritis is a musculoskeletal condition that currently affects around 3.85 million Australians. That’s roughly 18% of the population. It most commonly affects older adults but some forms of arthritis can also affect younger adults and children.
There are numerous different kinds of arthritis but here we’ll look at the three most common;
Let’s start with the most common form of arthritis. Osteoarthritis affects around 2.1 million Australians (9%) of the population. It most commonly develops in adults over the age of 50 (and after the age of 50 it is most likely to affect women) but can occur at any age as a result of injury or other joint-related conditions.
It is a degenerative condition whereby the lining of the cartilage that prevents the bones in a joint from rubbing together starts to erode. This can cause the bones to grind together making movement difficult and painful. The joints most commonly affected by osteoarthritis are those found in the knees, hips, spine and hands. For this reason, it can seriously curtail sufferers’ activities at home, at work and in their leisure time.
According to the latest available statistics, rheumatoid arthritis affects over 400,000 people in Australia. Around 2% of the population. Women are three times more likely to be affected by rheumatoid arthritis than men and the condition most commonly occurs between the ages of 40 and 50 years.
This type of arthritis is different to osteoarthritis. It occurs when the lining of the joints is inflamed. Thus can change the shape of the joint and lead to the breakdown of both the cartilage and bones of the joints. This can lead to physical malformations and a loss of function in the joint accompanied by near constant pain.
In some cases, rheumatoid arthritis can lead to long term or permanent damage in the joint or lead to disability. Sufferers of rheumatoid arthritis may also experience problems with other organs and tissues in their body if the condition worsens.
According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics and the National Health Survey, juvenile arthritis affects around 1 in every 1,000 children and young people aged 15 and under in Australia. Juvenile arthritis is not a specific form of arthritis per se. Rather it is the umbrella term for all kinds of arthritis that develop in children and young people.
The most common type of juvenile arthritis is juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA). This can cause pain and inflammation in one or more joints for six weeks or more. Fortunately, the symptoms of JIA can be managed and even tend to improve over time, allowing those who suffer from it to lead a normal life.
As you can see, sufferers of these most common kinds of arthritis have very different needs in terms of pain relief, combating inflammation and facilitating easier movements to allow patients with arthritis to continue to lead independent lives. While there are many common symptoms of arthritis; such as stiff, swollen and painful joints or muscular deterioration, everyone experiences this condition slightly differently and what may be the right treatment for one patient may not be suitable for another.
What’s more, there is currently no cure for arthritis, making makes the need for appropriate individualised treatment all the more important. It’s crucial that patients with the condition get the personalised treatment that they need to live as free of the pain and immobility that come with arthritis as possible.
That’s where we come in!
At Home Caring we are deeply committed to making the lives of arthritis patients easier, happier and more comfortable. All of our team members are highly trained in delivering expert personal care to patients with arthritis in line with their needs and the nature of their arthritis.
Our approach does not just encompass medical treatment but also physical and emotional support whether assisting patients on our premises or at home. We don’t believe in one-size-fits all treatment plans. After all, arthritis is not that kind of condition. We believe in a caring and responsive approach to our patient’s individual needs even as they change. We believe in supporting patients in ways that make them feel happy and comfortable yet also independent and dignified.
We understand that the needs of arthritis patients can be extremely varied, which is why our staff members are specially trained to offer support and care in a wide range of ways. They can assist in everything from pain management to personal care such as bathing, dressing and visiting the toilet. There is no aspect of care too big or too small and our team endeavour to bring our characteristic combination of professionalism, compassion, empathy and amiability to everything they do.
Expert solutions, tailored to our patients’ needs
Our highly trained support staff are on hand to ensure that all of our patients’ needs are met while still affording them the independence and autonomy that is so important to them. We believe that getting to know our patients lies at the heart of providing the highest quality of expert care. This means not just getting to know the condition, but truly taking the time to get to know the patient.
We understand that a simple chat about the weather or the latest football score can be every bit as curative to our patients as administering the right pain medication. We appreciate that helping out with laundry, tidying or popping to the shops can be as effective as providing aftercare after a joint replacement op. That’s why we take the time to match each and every one of our patients with a member of our support team who can give them the care that they need on every level. Someone who not only has the knowledge and training to administer the most effective treatment as and when it’s needed, but who can help the patient to remember that they have a life outside of their condition.
This, we feel, is the key to helping our patients to see themselves as what they are… An individual, and not a condition that just so happens to have a human being attached to it.
All of our patients enjoy a dedicated treatment plan that we regularly assess and review to ensure that it constantly meets their changing needs. Some of the services included in our patient plans are;
- A full assessment to determine the best course of care
- An individual support program
- Home or residential care
- Specialist support available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
- Social and lifestyle enhancement activities
We understand that leaving a loved one in an organisation’s care requires an enormous leap of faith. That’s why we have worked so hard to earn the trust of our patients and their loved ones. With over 20 years’ experience in the care industry we are perfectly placed to give patients with arthritis the very best standard of care and the very best quality of life.
Everything we do is founded on these simple values;
- Care: A client-focused approach which puts our patients first.
- Quality: We constantly strive to bring the highest quality to our service and build value for our clients.
- Innovation: Great care should never stand still. That’s why we’re committed to an innovative approach that is always striving to better meet patients’ needs.
- Excellence: Our goal is always to exceed clients’ expectations through exceptional care and customer service.
If you’d like to know more about how our extensive range of treatments can help someone you love, get in touch with us today!