“I want to live the most active and independent lifestyle that I can for as long as I can.”
What happens when the world’s population starts to live longer than their articular cartilage?
How do government health agencies manage the tsunami of older adults who are living longer but are inactive and dependent on healthcare services and resources?
Although joint replacements have been proven to be one of the most effective treatments for patients with end-stage osteoarthritis, performing joint replacements on the world’s population is not a sustainable global solution.
Like so many health conditions that have threatened the life expectancy of populations, the global solution wasn’t treating the infirmed, but instead it was the adoption of a strategy of early identification of individuals at risk and engaging them into appropriate treatment programs that included self-management and physical activity.
Joints4Life is a program designed to adopt the same population health strategies – in the non-surgical preservation of joint health and functional independence.
- Early Identification
- Early Education
- Empowering people that they can make a difference to their health
- Engaging patients in self-management strategies and physical activity.
Bottom line – The earlier that an individual is identified at a higher risk of osteoarthritis AND is well educated on their condition has a greater probability of feeling empowered AND becoming engaged in self-management strategies and physical activity.
I’m not naive to believe that this program will fix all the world’s problems, but I believe that, even the smallest percentage of a reduction in joint disability – across in a large population – , will have a positive impact on both individuals and their families and help reduce part of the burden on healthcare resources.
I’ve just returned from Bangkok, Thailand where I launched Joints4Life with the fitness professionals who I believe will serve as the greatest foot soldiers in executing the program in gyms, schools, church basements and community centres, etc.
In addition to this website, I look forward to visiting India and Indonesia in the coming year as well as meeting government officials faced with the same challenges and looking for solutions.
Terry Kane, Registered Physiotherapist (Calgary, Alberta, Canada).