What you may not know about arthritis on P.E.I.

A public forum in Charlottetown Thursday night will not only look at how to manage arthritis, but also the legal rights of those who have the disease.

Forum being held Thursday night in Charlottetown

More than 25,000 people on P.E.I. have arthritis, according to The Arthritis Society. (Allison Dempster/CBC)

A public forum in Charlottetown Thursday night will not only look at how to manage arthritis, but also the legal rights of those who have the disease.

Arthritis causes painful inflammation and stiffness in joints, limiting the ability to move. About 25,000 people on P.E.I. have arthritis, making it the most common long-term health condition on the Island, said Susan Tilley-Russell, executive director of The Arthritis Society, Atlantic region.

It can affect children as well as adults.

Understanding Your Arthritis

"When people think of arthritis they really think that maybe this is just something that everyone gets when they get older and they don't understand the severity of the disease," Tilley-Russell said.

When people think of arthritis they really think that maybe this is just something that everyone gets when they get older.— Susan Tilley-Russell

She hopes the forum, called Understanding Your Arthritis, changes that.

There will be information on the services and treatments available to people with arthritis, and lawyers will be present to speak about rights for workers.

For example, employers have to take steps to ensure there is not a discriminatory impact in the workplace, Tilley-Russell said.

'Duty to accommodate'

"Treating employees equally doesn't really mean treating them all the same. Generally speaking, the duty to accommodate is something that an employer has to do."

The forum takes place at the Rodd Charlottetown Hotel from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. To register, call 902-628-2288 or 1-800-321-1433.

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