Arthritis is Canada’s most common chronic disease, affecting 1 in 5 adults, more than half of whom are working people under age 65. More than two million Ontarians and six million people across Canada are living with arthritis today, and millions more are at risk for or affected by arthritis.
Arthritis Society Canada has been a Federated Health Charities member since 1986. For more than 30 years, Federated Health Charities and Arthritis Society Canada have worked together to extinguish arthritis with research, advocacy, information, and support for people affected by arthritis. When you donate to Federated Health Charities, you are helping to fight the fire of arthritis and support the millions of people in Ontario and across Canada affected by this disease.
“It’s not just arthritis.”
In the words of Arthritis Society Canada, “It’s not just arthritis.”
If you don’t have arthritis, you might think that arthritis is something that only affects seniors and the elderly. In fact, most people living with arthritis in Canada are under 65. Rheumatoid arthritis, an autoimmune inflammatory type of arthritis, can develop at any age, and the average age for the onset of osteoarthritis, caused by the degeneration of cartilage in the joints, is just 40 years old.
At any age, people living with arthritis experience chronic pain, fatigue, restricted mobility, and lowered mood, all of which can lower their quality and enjoyment of life. But for children, teens, and working-age adults living with arthritis, even mild symptoms can impact your ability to participate fully at school or in the workplace, and some forms of arthritis can leave people physically unable to work or attend school.
Fewer than 1-in-5 workers have discussed managing their arthritis with employers
Arthritis Society Canada’s Fit for Work study found that fewer than 1-in-5 workers with arthritis had discussed options to better manage working with arthritis with their employers. That means there are millions of people in workplaces across Canada, including throughout the Ontario public service, living with arthritis who, on any given day, may be dealing with their arthritis symptoms in silence.
As part of our mission to improve the health and well-being of people all across Ontario, Federated Health Charities is working to raise awareness across the Ontario Public Service of the supports available for people and families affected by serious illness or chronic health conditions, like arthritis. The funds raised for the Arthritis Society Canada through the annual Federated Health Charities campaign help provide online education and resources to support joint health at work and minimize the impact of arthritis symptoms. Whatever kind of work you do, be it paid or unpaid, full-time, or occasional, physically demanding or more sedentary, it’s important to know how to protect your joints and navigate the issues that can arise when you live with arthritis.
Arthritis Society Canada’s online Arthritis and Work portal provides resources for employees and employers/managers affected by arthritis, as well as an online learning module, Arthritis & Work – The Challenges to help people better understand the impact of arthritis on their work.
If you are living with arthritis and you are considering discussing your condition with your employer/manager, Arthritis Society Canada’s Considering Whether to Start a Conversation about Arthritis at Work tool will help you start thinking through that process as it relates to your situation and needs. If you are an employer/manager with staff who are affected by arthritis, the I’m an Employer portal will provide you with tools and guidance on how to accommodate employees with arthritis in your workplace.
For more information about arthritis, including tips for managing your arthritis, please visit Arthritis Society Canada.
Help support a healthier Ontario by donating to Federated Health Charities today.