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Staying Connected

Arthritis Care’s new specialist mentoring service

Arthritis

ARE you over 60 and living with Arthritis and/or have other long term conditions? Are you living with pain? Are you feeling isolated?

There are at least 289,000 people in Northern Ireland living with Arthritis. Arthritis is not life threatening, but it can be life changing. Arthritis not only affects a person physically but also emotionally and socially.

WHAT IS THE STAYING CONNECTED MENTORING SERVICE?

Arthritis Care’s new specialist mentoring service is designed to help the older person learn ways to manage and cope better with their condition. It also aims to help carers to cope better with the demands of their caring role. Arthritis Care volunteers are ordinary people who live with arthritis and/or other long term conditions so understand the difficulties of coping with a condition such as arthritis.

OUTCOME OF THE SERVICE

A lady who is 82 years has just completed 7 weeks of the service. At week 1 she had restricted mobility, was isolated and had lost a lot of her confidence and self esteem. I was taking her through self management techniques during her 7 weeks (e.g. goal setting, problem solving, CBE, preventing falls, conscious breathing, relaxation, good night sleep, getting through the day).

By week 3 she had gained some mobility and had start to go out for short walks. Whilst on these outings she started to meet with a few friends for coffee. Her mood and confidence improved and she was in great spirits. She has just completed (week 7) evaluation form which she comments that through the programme she has gained more confidence in herself and how to cope with her condition.

Her social life has improved and we are off next week to visit a club in her area. Her comments on the service were this project has helped me a lot, it is good to talk to someone who can explain things, at first I was isolated but not now, my mental health and well-being is a lot better now.

I have learned to manage my condition which was getting me down and I love the visits. All referrals will be dealt with on an individual basis, and in some cases will be placed on a waiting list due to high demand of our service. Further information on Staying Connected can be found at: www.arthritiscare.org.uk or by contacting Mary McConvill Project Manager, Phone: 028 9078 2940, Email marym@arthritiscare.org.uk

 

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