If He's Got Arthritis
If your husband or someone in your close circle of family or friends suffers with severe arthritis, you’ve witnessed their struggle. But as an observer, it’s tough to know exactly what you can do for them. Following these simple tips can help:
GET INFORMATION: People who are suffering with arthritis may not feel like filling you in on the facts because they don’t want to seem like they’re complaining. Take the initiative and check out websites and books on their condition. You’ll get a better picture about how the disease can bring on pain, fatigue, stiffness and swelling, as well as learn about treatments and their side effects. The Arthritis Foundation website (www.arthritis.org) is a good place to start
LET GO OF ASSUMPTIONS: Most of us figure we know what’s going on, but arthritis is an unpredictable condition that changes from day to day. Plus, even if someone with the condition isn’t complaining, it doesn’t mean they’re not suffering. Try not to jump to any conclusions. If you’re unsure, ask how they’re feeling.
PRACTICE LISTENING: Let your friend or family member know that you’re open and available if or when they want to talk. We all want to come up with solutions, but sometimes it’s best just to be an active listener. Although you may make suggestions, don't impose your thoughts on how a person with arthritis should manage their disease.