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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    What long-term plans should I be making for life with rheumatoid arthritis?

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    Tina Garrett

    Occupational Therapist (OT)

    Well Now Health Solutions offers high quality occupational therapy services to the adult population in Gympie and the surrounding regions. Our occupational therapy services aim ... View Profile

    It is difficult to know how the disease will progress, at what rate and how well controlled you will be on medication.  This makes long term planning for you physical changes problematic.  However, there are some things you can consider now if you are seeing a reduction in your physical function.  These include:

    • how your home is set up for future needs; do you have a high or low set house, is it easy to maintain, how accessible are the facilities such as toilet, shower, laundry, are your commonly used items difficult to access
    • ways to work smarter using energy conservation techniques and work simplification
    • work balancing
    • knowing what services are available and where to access help
    • subsidy schemes that can help with equipment in your locale
    Occupational therapists are highly trained to help people self manage with chronic diseases and stay as independent as possible with daily living tasks.  If you have not had contact with one, it may be helpful to make contact with an occupational therapist in your local area.  They will be able to accurately assess your situation and provide advice that meets your specific needs.

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    My research interests include immunology and the mechanisms of amyloid formation. The latter has implications for people who are dealing with Alzheimer's Disease, Parkinson's Disease ... View Profile

    Adding to what Tina wrote, your GP should be able to refer you to a specialist rheumatologist.

    A rheumatologist will be able to do a detailed investigation of your rheumatoid arthritis and then, depending on the results of that, discuss treatment/management options with you.  

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