hand protectionAs women age, health issues specific to perimenopausal and postmenopausal women, such as osteoarthritis, rheumatoid and other inflammatory arthritic conditions, tendonitis, carpal tunnel syndrome, and fractures are more common in women than men, according to The Institute for Hand and Upper Extremity Rehabilitation.

It’s important as a safety and health professional to bring empathy to your talks with these hurting women. Listen carefully regarding their specific difficulties, says Linda Stanley, certified hand therapist and founder of the institute.

What can you do to make a bad situation more tolerable? Abolish the idea of “no pain, no gain,” for one thing, says Stanley. Do your own research on hand therapies and try to alleviate fears by educating and preparing hurting women workers for their rehab.

Of course don’t over-step your bounds. You’re not a hand therapist, and there is only so much you can say, so much comfort you can offer. One of the best moves you can make is to educate the older women in your workforce who  might be facing these kinds of health issues on where they can go for professional diagnoses and treatments.