The Longford Branch of Arthritis Ireland celebrate their fifth birthday with a special public information meeting on Thursday, May 22 at 7pm in Cooney’s Hotel, Ballymahon.
The guest speakers are both experts in Arthritis at Tullamore Hospital; Dr Ausaf Mohamed, Consultant Rheumatologist and Angela Camon, Specialist Nurse in Rheumatology.
Longford Branch Chairperson Loretta Doyle said: “Over the past five years the branch has been very active in developing various programmes and initiatives to assist the many people in Longford who are challenged with arthritis, and provide skills to manage the pain, fatigue and social isolation associated with this chronic condition.”
Although there is no cure for arthritis there is a lot that people can do to empower themselves to reduce the impact of this condition on their lives.
There are over 100 types of arthritis and affects one in every five people, from newborn babies through to the elderly.
The branch calendar of events each year includes a variety of exercise workshops and training courses and fundraising events to assist with the costs of these workshops. Research indicates that exercise is very beneficial to people with arthritis.
Ms Doyle outlined that three branch members have trained in delivering a Stanford University Course entitled ‘Living Well With Arthritis’. This six week course was held in Longford and Lanesboro and over 50 people have availed of it so far.
Two branch members have trained as ‘Walking Leaders’ and lead out a walking group each Thursday at 11am from the Mall Complex, Longford.
Twelve people have been trained in the specialised exercise Nordic Pole Walking.
The branch, with the help of a ‘Go For Life’ grant in 2009, began Arthritis Aqua Aerobics classes and these are held in the Longford Arms, €45 for seven weeks (Tuesday 11.30am and Wednesday 8pm).
Twenty-two people are participating in a six week Chair Yoga class in the Family Centre, Longford and plan to continue with a further set of classes (details from 087 1404200), while a very successful Siel Bleu course was also held.
The branch organised a Health Fair in the Temperance Hall in 2012 and the following year a Support Group was established. Four public information meetings with expert guest speakers are held each year.
Ms Doyle said: “Fundraising is vital for the survival of the local branch. Church Gate collections is our main source of funding and we are most grateful for the public’s generosity.”
She said the branch plans to developing these activities and providing many more courses.
If you wish to join the Longford Branch of Arthritis Ireland, come along to any of their events or contact committee members on (086) 8160080 or 086 8982044.
The Arthritis Helpline may be contacted on LoCall 1890 252 846 or Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Web: www.arthritisireland.ie