Exciting new partnership for Arthritis New Zealand
Arthritis New Zealand is delighted to announce an exciting new partnership with Bupa Care Services New Zealand from June 2013.
Arthritis New Zealand and Bupa Care Services have many shared goals, clients and initiatives for the future. There are a growing number of Bupa care homes and villages in New Zealand and many residents will have osteoarthritis or another of the more than 140 different forms of arthritis.
With more than 76% of the population aged over 75 1 living with arthritis, the opportunity to work alongside Bupa Care Services is a positive step for Arthritis New Zealand, says Chief Executive Sandra Kirby.
Arthritis New Zealand members will be able to access services provided in the Bupa Retirement Villages and join other residents for events. In addition our team of Arthritis Educators will provide clinics and seminars to residents on a variety of techniques to learn more about their condition, manage arthritis pain and ensure they continue to live active lives.
“Bupa’s purpose is to help people live longer, healthier, happier lives and the partnership with Arthritis will help us achieve this,” says Margaret Owens, Director of Independent Living. “We are delighted to be able to bring the resources and education services to our residents due to this partnership.”
Because it’s not ‘just arthritis’ this partnership will be a win-win relationship that will benefit many New Zealanders.
Katherine began to suffer symptoms of undifferentiated spondyloarthropathy at 18-years-old.
Katherine began to suffer symptoms at 18-years-old when her hips became severely sore.
Despite seeing a number of doctors, she says it took a long time to be diagnosed.
“After about five years, and what seemed like a million different doctors, my rheumatologist told me I’ve got undifferentiated spondyloarthropathy, a type of arthritis that causes strong pain in the back and hips.”
“The support I’ve gotten from Arthritis New Zealand has been fantastic. Their courses have been an excellent source of up-to-date, trustworthy information and their Arthritis Educators helped me learn techniques to manage my pain and stress.”
“Working with Arthritis New Zealand has given me the chance to network and get support from people who are going through the same things I am. They’ve also put me in touch with a physiotherapist, which has really helped me stay strong, flexible and active.”
Matt is achieving his dream of racing despite having ankylosing spondylitis.
At eight years of age, Matt Lockwood’s knee started to swell for no apparent reason and he was diagnosed with Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis (JIA). The arthritis spread to his ankles, fingers and jaw. Eventually Matt was diagnosed with ankylosing spondylitis (AS).
Matt has always dreamed of driving, a dream that he is achieving through stubbornness, commitment, dedication and sheer hard work. That’s not so unusual, but what is unusual is that Matt has reached high levels in his chosen career without disclosing until recently that he has ankylosing spondylitis.
Matt’s fitness level plays a crucial part for his success in his sport and he has to be very dedicated to remain in top condition without any injuries
“Exercising can be quite complicated for me. As an athlete I have to be really fit and working around my knees and ankles can be really tricky. The programme I have is so particular it is quite difficult keeping the leg muscles nice and strong, without injuring myself in the process.”
“For me, my arthritis doesn’t really change from day to day, I have had it for so long that I have learnt to tolerate the pain now. When people find out I have arthritis, they always ask how I am and I kind of like to forget about it and move on with my life.”
“My advice to people with arthritis would be to try and do something to keep active and keep those muscles working.”
Sarah Clark knows what it is like to be a young person living with rheumatoid arthritis.
Sarah knows what it is like to be a young person facing the reality of living with arthritis.
“When my rheumatoid arthritis flares up my joints get inflamed, my body gets stiff and the pain becomes overwhelming. Sometimes I can’t walk or lift my arms; I get totally fatigued and anaemic. It can get pretty horrible.”
“Most people think arthritis is just something older people get. I was only 22 years old when my symptoms got really bad. At that time, I felt like the support systems were tailored for older New Zealanders and I didn’t know where to get information relevant to me. I think the Internet and social media has really helped changed this.”
“Arthritis New Zealand offers current, up-to-date information on their website, as well as through their Facebook and Twitter pages. I run my own Facebook page aimed specifically at younger people who live with arthritis and we now have around 175 active members. It is a great way to share stories with other people who’ve been through the same things; knowing you’re not alone is a really important part of managing pain.”
“I can offer one bit of advice; if you’re diagnosed with arthritis, don’t just jump on Google; that will only make your anxiety worse. Make sure you get information, advice and support from experts, like Arthritis New Zealand.”
“It’s not enough to tell you about it, we need to make you feel something.”
Massey University digital media student Lisa Martin and advertising student Tasha Godetz developed Arthritis Challenge as part of a course project.
Arthritis Challenge is a transmedia campaign designed to raise awareness that young people get arthritis and to inform their peers on what the disease is and what it is like for someone living with it.
“The campaign is targeted at 15 to 18 year olds, as this is the age where bullying can happen towards someone with arthritis if their peers don’t understand what it is,” Tasha said.
“Currently teens lack the right information about the disease with the common misconception that it is an older person’s disease,” she said.
“We have designed a campaign made up of multiple platforms of media.
“Most current health campaigns have a tone of empathy pulling on the audiences heart strings or use celebrities as an audience attention grabber.
“Our campaign has been designed with a fun and interactive element to allow teens to experience a little of what it is like to have the disease.”
The project comprised two major elements, a television commercial and a series of print advertisements.
“We sent out a box to schools filled with challenge cards and joint restrictions,” Tasha said.
“We then asked teens to follow the instructions on three challenge cards and video each other doing everyday things with these joint restrictions on.
“The aim of these challenges was to interactively show people how difficult simple tasks become when your joints are stiff.
“This will heighten awareness amongst peers and allows then to feel what its like with stiff joints instead of just being told about what it’s like.
“They then uploaded videos of themselves completing the challenge onto here for others to watch and comment on.”