On 7th May, Rebecca Harris MP attended an event in Parliament to hear about new research from Versus Arthritis which shows that 43% of people with arthritis struggle with tasks at home for more than two years before finding out about equipment they were eligible for. Rebecca also spoke to people with arthritis about the impact of their condition and how aids and adaptions, such as; grab rails, electric tin openers, and stairlifts have made a difference to their lives.
94% of people with arthritis said the aids and adaptations they use have improved their life, and local authorities receive funding from the Government to provide aids and minor adaptations free of charge to all those who are eligible. However, 33% of people who the charity surveyed said they do not use any aids or adaptations because they thought they would have to pay for them.
Arthritis and related conditions, such as back pain, fibromyalgia and gout, are the biggest cause of pain and disability in the UK, affecting 17.8 million people every day. Arthritis can affect all aspect of someone’s life – from getting dressed and going to work, to cooking meals and spending time with family. People with arthritis often spend years with severe pain and fatigue.
Aids and adaptations can help people with arthritis to remain independent in their homes, keep them out of hospital and reduce the need for more expensive care services. However, too many people face barriers to accessing this vital support or are paying for it themselves because they are not aware of the help available.
Last year, Castle Point Council announced that they had no waiting list for adaptions in the Borough due to extra Government funding through the Better Care Fund.
Rebecca Harris MP said:
“4,941 people in Castle Point are living with osteoarthritis of the hip, 8,388 with osteoarthritis of the knee and 16,425 with back pain. Many more are affected by other related conditions every day. I wanted to show support in Parliament for my constituents and help tackle the issues they face.
“It’s clear that aids and adaptations in the home can help people remain independent, and I want to make sure that people with arthritis in Castle Point know about the support available and are able to easily access it.”