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Date: 15.01.2012
From: Rachel Wood

Subject: University assignment about arthritis

As part of a module I am studying at university I am filling out a DLA form about someone with arthritis and I need to understand some points.

Jack is 56 and has started to suffer increasingly from rheumatoid arthritis in his hips, knees and hands.
He tells you he finds it painful to walk, especially in the mornings and in cold or wet weather, and he has difficulty gripping anything and manipulating small items. He needs help dressing and washing.

I need help answering the following questions
How far can you normally walk?
How many minutes can you walk before feeling sever e discomfort?
Do you need support walking?
How often do you fall?

I hope people do mind me posting this on the forum, it is just very confusing for me to answer when I do not suffer from the condition and do not know anyone who does.

Thank you
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Date: 15.01.2012
From: bsk

Subject: Re: University assignment about arthritis

Really? Isn't what university is for, to teach you what to say?
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Date: 15.01.2012
From: Rachel Wood

Subject: Re: University assignment about arthritis

The case study is more to do with filling in benefits forms and peoples entitlement to these benefits, it just happens that the case study is to do with dla and arthritis. It could have been to do with something completely different such as housing benefit.
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Date: 15.01.2012
From: Colin

Subject: Re: University assignment about arthritis

Hi Rachel , was told by my Rheumatologist that you dont get RA in your hips or back ,

in reality most of us with RA tend to have ankles/knees/elbows & shoulders on the do all at same time , for figers & wrist think of them as not bending at all on a bad day

for DLA , walking is 20-50 yards but on bad days I find it dificult to move from one room to anther
time , it can take , varies but arond few mins
most of us use walking support like crutches , walking sticks are only good for balance so I dont use one much
as for falling , no one wants to fall , but with RA if very difficult to get up so you end up watching where you walk

RA changes from day to day & you realy need to go meet few people with it , or look online at some of the deformities we get with RA
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Date: 15.01.2012
From: bsk

Subject: Re: University assignment about arthritis

Colin has made a good point. It is a very individual thing and completely depends on how severe the individual's case is. You don't usually get RA in hips as Colin says.

If you want to know what to answer to get the DLa you are better off looking at one of the benefit forums where they tell people what the criteria is. That is where I suggest your course should help!!
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Date: 15.01.2012
From: Paula

Subject: Re: University assignment about arthritis

It varies person to person with RA. The common places it affects are your hands, wrists, shoulders feet, ankles, and knees, less common are elbows and hips but it can go anywhere, that is what my rhumatologist told me. DLA looks at a person's care and mobility needs, how much help does a person need a day, at night too. How many days, how many minutes and how many hours. Look at a bad day and then a lesser bad day. The medication can affect as well, side effects, tirdeness especially. The Benefits and Work Forum is good, but you have to pay 19 a year to be a memeber to access their guides. They have good guides for DLA. But, everyone is different, and the symptoms are different for everyone, and the severity is different for everyone as well. You have to take the pain, stiffness and fatigue into account, as well as the depression and irritability and frustration, sleep disturbances, etc. Again different for everyone. There are no standard answers. The NRAS Might be able to give you a few pointers, but the guides of the benefits and work forum are excellent, try there but they are not free.
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Date: 15.01.2012
From: Rachel Wood

Subject: Re: University assignment about arthritis

Hi Colin, thank you for your help, I understand that it must vary from person to person but you have given me enough insight to answer the DLA questions.

Hi bsk and Paula, I do have a lot of information to do with eligibility but thank you for the pointers as it is always useful to look at new sources.
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