Living your best life with arthritis.

Adaptive clothes for people living with arthritis and other medical problems

Wardrobe full of clothesPutting on clothes can be a difficult task for people living with arthritis, limited mobility and range of motion, and other medical problems.

For someone living with arthritis, simple tasks, such as buttoning a shirt, tying shoelaces, or pulling up a zipper, are made difficult by joint pain and inflammation. Caregivers can help in this aspect but it can be a demeaning, intimate and tricky task for both parties. People with Alzheimer or dementia may also have trouble in dressing themselves. They may forget how to put on a shirt or which way the buttons face.

One way to make things easier is to use adaptive clothes. Adaptive clothes have details like Velcro tabs instead of zips and buttons, as well as adjustable or removable components that help to save time and reduce the risk of injury. “More importantly, this type of clothing improves one’s comfort and bolsters self-esteem,” said Ms. Punithamani Kandasamy, a registered nurse and caregiving trainer at Active Global Specialised Caregivers. In an interview with the Straight Times in Singapore, Ms. Punithamani explains how different types of adaptive apparel and footwear can be useful for both the wearer and the caregiver. Below is an excerpt from the interview: Continue reading

Call for patient input on biosimilar etanercept (Sandoz) for RA, AS, and pJIA

Stickman with megaphone calling for patient inputDo you have rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis or polyarticular juvenile idiopathic arthritis or care for someone who does? We need your valuable input.

Health Canada defines biosimilars (sometimes referred to as subsequent entry biologics or SEBs) as biologic medicines that are similar to, and would enter the market after, an approved originator biologic (such as Enbrel®).

Unlike the more common small-molecule drugs, biologics generally exhibit high molecular complexity, and are sensitive to changes in manufacturing practices. Biosimilars are not identical to their originator products because their chemical characteristics cannot be precisely duplicated during the manufacturing process. Therefore, biosimilars may have unique efficacy, immunogenicity, and safety profiles that are different from their originator.

The Common Drug Review (CDR) is currently welcoming patients and their caregivers to provide input to patient organizations on the manufacturer’s submission for biosimilar etanercept for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis and polyarticular juvenile idiopathic arthritis. The originator biologic, or reference product, is etanercept (Enbrel®).
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Include exercise in your mall routine

Picture of a woman holding onto a shopping bagThere are many ways to include exercise in your mall routine. By turning daily tasks into an exercise routine, you will be able to improve your overall strength. Many Canadians visit the mall on December 26, also known as Boxing Day in Canada, to find deals on electronic, clothing, and entertainment goods and services. Like the Black Friday sale event down in the United States, the shopping centres are packed with people. The mall also provides a free and dry environment for walking when the weather makes road conditions unsafe for outdoor exercise. Below are some ways you can incorporate and optimize exercise while shopping: Continue reading

Survival tips for the holidays

Picture of an ornament hanging from a treeJoy and love are bountiful throughout the holidays. For people living with arthritis, so is physical and mental stress and pain. Here are some survival tips for the holidays:

  1. Make a list. A list will help keep you on budget and alleviate the stress of not knowing what to buy for presents or food.
  2. Shop online. Shopping online helps you avoid the crowds. It is convenient and you can do it day or night, in comfortable clothes, without the need to find parking.
  3. If you must shop at a mall, shop during non-peak hours (during the day or early morning). Continue reading

Concerned citizens speak out about Vancouver’s 10th Avenue Corridor Project

A picture of Vancouver's 10th AvenueNew bike lane could impact people living with arthritis and other disabilities

An online petition for people who are concerned about the City of Vancouver’s proposed 10th Avenue Corridor Project is open for signatures until December 12, 2016. The petition has been started by a group on behalf of clients, staff and patient advocates of the various medical centres along the Health Precinct area (from Cambie Street to Oak Street).

The group argues that there is an increased risk to the safety of patients and public coming into and leaving the Health Precinct area, including the Mary Pack Arthritis and Eye Care Centres. Easy and safe access for elderly, mentally, physically, sight and hearing challenged patients is critical to providing the kind and quality of care they need.

“Fundamentally, bike lanes are an important part of Vancouver’s desire to be a world class ‘green’ city, which we fully support,” says Cheryl Koehn, person with rheumatoid arthritis and Founder and President of Arthritis Consumer Experts. “But increasing congestion of both bikes and cars through several city blocks where patients are struggling to get from point A to point B is simply poorly thought out.”

To read more about the 10th Avenue Corridor Project, please click here.

Kids on the Block puppets talk juvenile arthritis in Vernon

A picture of puppets Leslie, a puppet with juvenile arthritis, and JenniferJuvenile arthritis strikes up to three in 1000 children in B.C. and is one of the most common chronic diseases among children. Cassie and Friends’ Kids on the Block, an educational puppet troupe, is spreading awareness about juvenile arthritis at elementary schools like the one Sarika Adriaanse attends in Vernon. The aim is to help children understand arthritis. With the aid of a $2,500 grant from Telus’ Community Board, the performance will visit several other interior school boards.

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