Community Action Grants take isolation out of arthritis

Arthritis Society Canada awards funding to seven projects across Canada

TORONTO, Nov. 17, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- From radio programs in Igloolik, Nunavut, to movement classes in Shelburne, N.S., to a speaker series for Red River Métis, Arthritis Society Canada is investing in local solutions to fight the fire of arthritis.

Seven projects across Canada have been awarded funding through Arthritis Society Canada’s inaugural Community Action Grants competition to address arthritis-related needs in their communities.

“Living with arthritis can be isolating,” says Trish Barbato, President and CEO of Arthritis Society Canada. “These new Community Action Grants are designed to provide opportunities for people to connect, learn and thrive with arthritis in their own communities and in ways that are meaningful to them.”

Arthritis affects 1 in 5 Canadians over the age of 15 and almost half of people over 65. It causes excruciating pain, restricts mobility and diminishes quality of life. Effective arthritis management can lead to reduced pain and improved mobility, however. And while some types of arthritis require medication, everyone with arthritis can benefit from education, therapeutic exercise, staying active and eating well.

The Coffee and a Chat program in Swan River, Manitoba will offer monthly drop-in style arthritis and health-related education and social events for the community.

“Connecting people with each other, especially in the darker months when there is less sunshine, can give them a bright, uplifting atmosphere to build social connections and friendships,” says program leader, Connie Beaudry.

The following is a list of the seven projects receiving inaugural Community Action Grants, all made possible by generous donations. Funding for the projects continues to March 2023.

The Arthritis Social Hour, led by Eileen Davidson, Vancouver, B.C.
The Arthritis Social Hour will offer young and middle-aged adults living with arthritis an opportunity to connect monthly for social and recreational activities around Vancouver, B.C. Each session will feature an educational discussion or panel about topics related to navigating life with arthritis, combined with recreational or art-based activities; $5,000 grant

Arthritis Adaptive Recreation Therapy, Bethany Care Foundation, Calgary, Alta.
A recreational physical therapy program for seniors or younger people with disabilities, with or at risk of arthritis, living in care in Calgary and Central Alberta. The program will provide adaptive eating and writing utensils to residents to assist in more independent eating and writing. The program will also include an exercise component and educational programming; $5,000 grant

Igloolik Arthritis Education Program, Igloolik Health Centre, Igloolik, Nunavut
A weekly radio program in Igloolik to provide arthritis education, complemented by in-person group sessions in a peer-to-peer format. The program will be led by two community health representatives, who will deliver education in Inuktitut, and where needed, in English. All content will be delivered by Inuit, for Inuit, using culturally relevant information; $2,500 grant

Coffee and a Chat, Swan River and District Community Resource Council, Inc. Swan River, Man.
Monthly drop-in style arthritis and health-related education and social events for the community of Swan River and other sites in Wuskwi Sipihk First Nation in northwest Manitoba. The sessions will include discussion with local healthcare professionals and subject matter experts; $5,000 grant

Keep Red River Métis Moving, Manitoba Métis Federation, Winnipeg, Man.
A speaker series on arthritis education and self-management for Red River Métis citizens in Winnipeg. Each in-person session will pair discussions of scientific evidence with Métis ways of knowing. Local subject matter experts will lead sessions, including a Métis Elder who will share traditional approaches to healing and coping with arthritis symptoms; $5,000 grant

Arthritis Education Public Lecture, Winnipeg Chinese Senior Association, Winnipeg, Man.
This event will be open to the more than 1,000 members of the Winnipeg Chinese Seniors Association and additional residents of Winnipeg. It will be delivered by an arthritis health professional using translation services on site to provide information in Mandarin; $977 grant

Still Moving Arthritis and Yoga, Lower Ohio Recreation Centre; Shelburne, N.S.
Still Moving will offer a series of arthritis education and movement classes for all ages led by a registered massage therapist and a yoga instructor. Classes will feature movement designed to improve flexibility, balance, relaxation and meditation; $5,000 grant

About Arthritis Society Canada  
Arthritis Society Canada is a national health charity, fueled by donors and volunteers, with a mission to fight the fire of arthritis with the fire of research, advocacy, innovation, information and support. Arthritis Society Canada is accredited under Imagine Canada’s Standards Program. For more information, visit    

For more information or to arrange interviews:   
Judy Noordermeer
Vice President, Marketing and Communications