Alyn and Deeside MP, Mark Tami, hears from people with arthritis why they need home aids and adaptations to stay independent for longer. 

At an event in Parliament on 7th May, Mark Tami MP heard about new research from Versus Arthritis which shows that 43% of people with arthritis said they struggled with tasks at home for more than two years before finding out about equipment that could help.   

Versus Arthritis asked MPs to come to the event to find out about its Room to Manoeuvre campaign to improve access to aids and adaptations in the home. 94% of people with arthritis said the aids and adaptations they use have improved their life. 

Mark Tami also spoke to people with arthritis at the event about the impact of their condition and how aids and adaptations, such as grab rails, electric tin openers and stairlifts, have made a difference to their lives. 

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. 

Versus Arthritis is working to ensure people with arthritis and related conditions are told about the aids and minor adaptations that can help and to improve access to the equipment that will help keep them independent. 

Mark Tami said: 

“Over 850,000 people in Wales are living with arthritis and related conditions. I have been in contact recently with a Versus Arthritis ambassador from Flintshire who made me aware just how big an issue this is and how it is affecting local people. 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 Alyn and Deeside know about the support available and are able to easily access it.” 

Maureen, who has rheumatoid arthritis and spoke with MPs at the event, said: 

I use aids at home, and they help to keep me independent. However, I didn’t realise I could get them through my local authority, and it’s not clear what to do when you need support. I enjoyed being able to speak to MPs about my experiences. It’s important that MPs learn about the problems people with arthritis have accessing aids and adaptations, so they can make sure the right help is available. 

Shona Cleland, Public Affairs Manager at Versus Arthritis, said: 

It was great to see Mark Tami at our event, hearing from people with arthritis about the life-changing impact of aids and adaptations and what more can be done to improve access to this support. 

Arthritis slowly intrudes on everyday life, affecting the ability to work, care for a family, move free from pain and live independently. We know that aids and adaptations can improve quality of life for people with arthritis, so it is vital that this equipment is available to everyone who needs it.