Push back against pain this election29 November 2019
Living with arthritis is living in pain. It’s struggling at work. It’s being unable to sleep. This is the experience of 8 in 10 of people with arthritis who told us they experience pain most days. One of these people is Lisa.
Arthritis has stolen my independence
Lisa is 50 and has lived with osteoarthritis and its related pain for over 10 years. The pain was so severe in her shoulders and neck that she struggled to cope at work.
“I would spend hours at my desk and would often be in a lot of pain. It was difficult to explain to my colleagues, as to them I looked perfectly fine on the outside.”
Lisa’s employer was supportive and provided specialist equipment to help her work better – but it wasn’t enough. Two years after being diagnosed Lisa was forced to give up work.
“It was a hard decision to make. But in my heart, I knew my body couldn’t cope with the pressures of being in an office-based environment and having to sit a desk for hours at a time.”
Over the years, Lisa’s pain has spread to other parts of her body, which has left her struggling to sleep. Even household chores have become a challenge.
“Instead of cleaning my house in a couple of hours, it now takes me a week. I have to break down the chores into smaller chunks so I can manage the pain.”
Arthritis has stopped me from working and stolen my independence, but over time I’ve learnt to accept this.
Pushing for positive change for people with arthritis
Lisa’s experience is unacceptable, and we want the future Government to know this.
We have outlined our four priorities for the next Government to support people with arthritis.
This includes our call for people with arthritis, such as Lisa, to be supported in work through schemes such as Access to Work. Kath is one of our campaigners who was able to keep working as a teacher because of this scheme. Read her story.
We also want to ensure that people with arthritis can access joint replacement surgery in a timely fashion and are calling on all political parties to commit to retaining the maximum 18-week waiting time target.
This election is a fantastic opportunity to push arthritis and pain onto the agenda of a future government. Find out how you can campaign at our General Election Hub.
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Versus Arthritis calls on all political parties to retain the maximum 18-week waiting time target
Data has revealed that the target for treating 92% of people waiting for surgery within 18 weeks has not been met. This is unacceptable.
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