This is a sponsored post written behalf of the Arthritis Foundation.
Did you know that 1 in 4 Americans have arthritis? Did you know this includes 300,000 children? Many people believe that arthritis is an “old person’s disease” but that is quite the myth. There are people in my life who have arthritis and it is likely that there are people in your life with arthritis, too. We teamed up with The Arthritis Foundation to share more information about arthritis and we got some first-hand experience of what Americans with arthritis experience by wearing a pair of simulation gloves. While I did not experience the pain that many people with arthritis experience, I was able to get a better understanding of how debilitating arthritis can be.
Americans with Arthritis: Simulation Gloves
As a mother of young children, they rely on me a lot, from the moment I wake up in the morning until the moment I go to bed at night. This means I am needed for fine motor tasks like brushing teeth, cutting food and zipping zippers, as well as gross motor tasks like running after my kids and going on bike rides. Each day I make 3 (if I’m lucky) meals, and pack lunchboxes, drive carpools and give my kids a bath, just to name a small number of the things involved in caring for children!
When they are in school, I spend a lot of time during the day typing emails and writing on my computer, all of which involves the use of my hands, all at a quick pace. We have said it before on Savvy Sassy Moms, and I will say it again, every minute of every day counts as a mom when we are running the lives and schedules of ourselves and our kids.
My experience with the simulation gloves
The simulation gloves that were sent to me by The Arthritis Foundation opened my eyes to how different life would be with arthritis. This is something that I have been aware of as there are people in my life affected by arthritis, but this first-hand experience spoke volumes to me. First and foremost, I quickly realized how much longer every task takes. From putting on my mascara, to making lunch for my kids, I needed to give myself much more time to complete a task.
In addition, I needed to remind myself not to become frustrated, as we are all our hardest critics. With limited movement in my fingers and hands, I found it very challenging to put on my own make-up, open containers and do mine or my daughter’s hair. For me, as it became increasingly difficult and time consuming to participate in everyday tasks, I had to think of better ways to do things that I had once taken for granted.
Help is a necessity
I quickly realized that I would need help. I found that I relied on my six-year-old more and had to reach out to others for help. Thinking about how much my current life would need to change if I had arthritis was shocking. It gave me a real wakeup call not to take the small things for granted and to realize how difficult it must be to live with this disability each and every day. While I was able to remove the simulation gloves, that is not the reality for 54 million Americans and we need to do something about it, now. We found these tips helpful on parenting with arthritis.
Facts about Arthritis
Arthritis is a big deal and affects so many people, however; it was surprising to hear how many American’s lack knowledge about it. According to a recent Harris Poll survey funded by The Arthritis Foundation, 93% of Americans do not know that the leading cause of long-term disability in the U.S. is arthritis. In addition, nearly 60% of Americans don’t know how many types of arthritis there are…do you? There are over 100 types of arthritis, all of which we still need to find a cure for.
While so many Americans have little knowledge about it, 81% of Americans have or know someone with arthritis, myself included. While nearly 60% of Americans say that they would feel uncomfortable requesting time off of work each month due to an illness, 172 million work days are lost annually due to arthritis and other rheumatic conditions. By 2040, the number of U.S adults with doctor-diagnosed arthritis will reach 78.4 million, so now is the time to speak up, to get active and to help find a cure for this condition.
Let’s Get a Grip on Arthritis Campaign
Let’s get a grip on arthritis and find a cure once and for all! Arthritis is America’s number 1 cause of disability and the “Let’s Get a Grip on Arthritis Campaign” will continue to fund research to find a cure. Those living without this disability may find it hard to understand how difficult life can be with arthritis. 54 million Americans have the dream of a better daily quality of life where they can participate in daily tasks without feeling pain and without feeling isolated. You can help by joining the #LetsGripArthritis social conversation and learning more at www.arthritis.org/LetsGripArthritis.
How the Arthritis Foundation Helps
The Arthritis Foundation is there to advocate for people with arthritis each and every day. There are 150,000 advocates who speak up for fair laws. Their advocacy resulted in increased access to care for more the 51 million people. Through fundraising, they are constantly investing in science to find a cure for many different types of arthritis. Since 1948, people donated more than $500 million, and so much research still needs to be done.
They host activities and events for people living with arthritis, including those living with Juvenile Arthritis. It’s so important for people to feel like they are part of a community. Hosting retreats allow people with arthritis to come together and connect with one another. In addition, they are constantly providing information and resources. Their information impacted more than 22 million people online and 120,000 participants through fundraising events last year. Find out how you can get involved and together we can make a difference.