Arthritis Services Arthritis Services

We are your local resource for help and hope in Mecklenburg County, NC!

Did you know that arthritis is the leading cause of disability, second only to heart disease? More families are affected by arthritis than by any other illness.

The incidence of arthritis is expected to rise at an alarming rate, approaching 67 million Americans by 2030. In Mecklenburg County over 177,000 people are affected by arthritis. Our community faces the burden of increasing healthcare needs for those affected by arthritis. The National Arthritis Action Plan boldly asserts that, "the public health challenge before us is to insure the delivery of effective interventions to those at the greatest risk of arthritis and its implications."

Arthritis Services' Community Arthritis Project, meets this public health burden head on.

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Arthritis Services' programs and services are helped made possible by these sponsors:

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Drawing will be held held on March 13, 2014




You gave to everyone on your holiday list, now with a donation of $20 to Arthritis Services you will be entered into a drawing to win for yourself of all kinds of electronic gizmos! Examples of items to be raffled off- TVs, e readers, sports tracker devices, laptops etc! Drawing will be held on March 13th at a Board of Directors meeting and winners will be notified immediately.

This is not a fancy event where lots of money is spent to raise money! This is a "non-event", therefore you don't have to get all dressed up to go anywhere. You can be assured that your hard earned money is directly used to help persons in OUR COMMUNITY to become better educated about what to do to help themselves! We offer nearly 500 self-management classes/year...and often these services help those less fortunate. Your ticket numbers are emailed to you immediately!


Please consider getting a ticket now!


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What we really do in your community...

You can look into the face of a person with arthritis or fibromyalgia, but you can't easily detect that they are experiencing chronic pain.

Appearance can be deceiving and does not tell the story of the unrelenting pain and frustration that people experience when they are dealing with this illness from day-to-day. And, that's why Arthritis Services exists in Mecklenburg County. For more than 37 years we have helped those battling arthritis function at their highest level of possible wellness.

There are over 100 different conditions in the arthritis family with varying degrees of pain and physical disability. At the top of this "hit parade" list are osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and fibromyalgia. People not in chronic pain can't quite comprehend how the quality of life can be so compromised. For example, little things we take for granted are big hurdles to persons with arthritis.

As a small, local non-profit United Way agency with a focused eye on arthritis patients, we have been providing coping services and skills to relieve chronic pain. Just ask Donna and her elderly mother who have both benefitted from our classes.

As a child, Donna had polio and throughout her adult life contends with crippling damage and disability and pain that years of joint damage have caused. Multiple surgeries hamper her walking ability with any speed or distance, and standing for any length of time is prohibitive. Simple moves, such as getting up and down from a chair or out of a car present a challenge. To top it off, a recent car accident injured her back, adding another level of distress to what she normally experiences. According to Donna who tries to be positive, there are some days her pain is unbearable. However, she carries on with her daily routine since she is responsible for her aging mother and dependent children.


Donna reports that her arthritis classes have made an extraordinary difference in her life. She explains, "I can sleep most nights without pain, bend my right knee and even put on socks and shoes! Because I feel stronger and can stand longer, I can help cook and clean for my mom. The real miracle is that my excruciating back pain has eased allowing me to have more of a normal daily life."

Donna's mom also accompanies her to our classes and Donna says, "We've watched her decline from a brisk 4-mile walker two years ago to merely toddling around the apartment. Doctors sent mom to therapists to overcome this deterioration. She would reluctantly go to therapists and by the third session would disengage, often taking the therapist 45 minutes of the 1 hour sessions to get her started back on track again."

On the other hand, Donna's mother is enthusiastic about attending her Arthritis Services' sessions. She reacts positively to the unintimidating environment, the instructors who make the class fun and the other group members each participating at their own pace. This change in her attitude from attending Arthritis Services' classes is physically making her stronger.

Donna's mom also accompanies her to our classes and Donna says, "We've watched her decline from a brisk 4-mile walker two years ago to merely toddling around the apartment. Doctors sent mom to therapists to overcome this deterioration. She would reluctantly go to therapists and by the third session would disengage, often taking the therapist 45 minutes of the 1 hour sessions to get her started back on track again."


Arthritis Services of Mecklenburg County is proud to have served 1,736 individuals directly providing 9,033 services from July 2012-June 2013 here in our community. Just consider these points:

Your donation will help more arthritis suffers like Donna maintain and improve independence, allowing them to function at their highest level of wellness that often minimizes other chronic conditions like obesity, diabetes and depression.

Chances are you know someone who lives with arthritis. Please consider Arthritis Services in another's honor or memory. Your gift will provide coping skills that can make all the difference in just living with arthritis to living well with arthritis.


Best wishes and our genuine appreciation,


 

Cindy Berrier, RN, BSN, Executive Director


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