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The Arthritis Getaway for young adults

The Arthritis Getaway (TAG) is a fun, informative and educational weekend away for young adults with arthritis.  It is an opportunity to get together in a relaxed, open environment, to share experiences and learn about living with arthritis, how to overcome obstacles and build a support network.

TAG 2020 was held at Regency Beach Club in Dunsborough from 6th – 9th March. This year we had 13 participants aged between 18-36 years old from across WA, NT and VIC. The weekend started with a welcome barbecue where everyone helped cook. It was great to see old friends and new faces getting to know each other and sharing stories over dinner.  After dinner we got creative, making funky Tie Dye T-Shirts, which became the unofficial uniform for the weekend.

Saturday morning everyone got involved in a Pilates class out in the sunshine.  After our morning fitness, we had our self-directed education session where we shared our experiences living with arthritis in a supportive environment. It was great to hear everyone’s stories, we heard from participants who were diagnosed at 18 months to others who were newly diagnosed. It was a great opportunity where we all learnt from each other and understood each other’s journeys of living with arthritis. Pregnancy and Arthritis is always a huge topic of discussion at TAG. This year we had 2 participants who were pregnant and open to discussing their different experiences dealing with arthritis, medications and motherhood.

After lunch all participants went down to the beach for some fun beach activities; we tested our balance stand-up paddle boarding, pushed our legs on the pedal boats, worked our arms on the kayaks and challenged our teamwork while sailing. The group was lucky to have perfect weather, enjoying the sun and the pristine calm waters. What an amazing day…but it wasn’t over yet! We headed home for showers and some downtime before we set off again, heading into town for a restaurant dinner.

Our Saturday night restaurant dinner was a bit of a treat as every other meal over the weekend we cooked ourselves. We found spending time in the kitchen together preparing and cooking our meals allowed us time to chat, get to know each other and bond in a relaxed environment where we all worked together to get the job done!

Sunday started with yoga and a guided meditation session on the lawn. Feeling revitalised we were ready for our guest speaker, Dr Bob Langlands.  It was a privilege to have Bob join us with his many years’ experience as a Rheumatologist he was able to answer all our burning questions. One of the most interesting aspects of our discussions were old practices vs new medications and the advances in treating arthritis.  We’d like to thank Dr Bob Langlands for taking the time to meet with us and share his wealth of knowledge.

After a big weekend of activities and education, we had a bit of downtime Sunday afternoon and were lucky to have had 3 local remedial massage therapists join us to relieve some of our aches and pains. After a relaxing afternoon, it was time to start cooking up a storm for our dinner party.  What a great way to finish TAG 2020 with a feast we all helped create!

Monday morning meant it was time to get back to reality, with farewells, hugs and big plans to catch up soon.

This program which helps so many young adults with arthritis would not be possible without the support and invaluable contributions from Arthritis & Osteoporosis WA.  We truly thank you for your ongoing commitment to The Arthritis Getaway.

If you are interested in joining TAG please drop us a line at tag@arthritiswa.org.au


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