This is an invited article from Marie Clark at Elderkind...

Arthritis Care Tips for Senior C

Arthritis Care Tips for Senior Care Givers

Do you care for an elderly loved one is suffering from arthritis? While there is no cure yet for arthritis there are ways you can help manage the pain and improve his or hers quality of life.

Having an understanding of the condition will help you provide better care. While it’s not uncommon in younger people, arthritis is something that commonly plagues elderly people. It can be a very painful and difficult issue to live with.  Some people with arthritis find themselves having a difficult time with mobility as the condition gets worse. There are three different forms of arthritis that are commonly found in the elderly.  These include:

  • Osteoarthritis – which is the most common among elderly people

  • Gout – this type causes pain and swelling, and most commonly affects the feet.

  • Rheumatoid Arthritis – this type not only affects joints, but also can affect other tissues in the body.

The Many Causes

Arthritis can have a variety of different causes. These causes may vary from person to person.  Understanding the risk factors that are involved can help you when it comes to preventing it.  Here are a few of the common factors that can lead to arthritis.

  • Being overweight

  • Adding too much stress to your bones and joints

  • Previous injury of a joint

  • Improperly aligned joints

Symptoms

If you think that your loved one may be suffering from arthritis, discuss it with your doctor. Here are the typical symptoms to watch for: 

  • Frequent joint pain in any joint can be a symptom

  • Specific points of focus for this pain are the weight bearing joints

  • Aching in the joints after physical work

  • The most frequent areas arthritis occurs are the hands, hips, knees, neck and lower back

Ways to Prevent It

There are a number of factors that play a part in the development of arthritis.  There are also several things that you can do in order to prevent arthritis. Prevention should be very important to those that have any of the risk factors. 

       Regular exercise routines

       Regular stretching and moving 

       Maintaining a healthy weight

 

By following these preventative measures, you will find yourself at a lower risk for developing arthritis.  You will also see that you look and feel better about yourself.  

Treatment Options Available

If you are already experiencing signs of arthritis, you will want to talk with your doctor about treatment methods. There are several things that you can do to help ease the pain, and help to improve your joints.    

  • Exercise can help to relieve the pain that is associated with arthritis.

  • Getting enough rest and taking care of your joints is important.

  • Prescription medications can help to improve joints.

  • Pain medications may be very helpful with easing discomfort.

A Bit of Hope

As you can see, arthritis can be a very frustrating disease.  It can cause you to have a lot of pain and can also significantly decrease your quality of life.  Doing what you can to prevent it is always a great idea; however, you may still find yourself living with arthritis later in life.  Instead of letting arthritis rule your life, there are things that you can do to help yourself feel better.  It is very important to follow the guidance of your physician so that you can have relief from the pain that is brought on by arthritis.

Make Life Better

There are a number of simple things you can do to make life better for someone suffering from arthritis. Start by looking around the home for ways to make getting around and completing daily tasks easier.

  • Install safety bars and grips, especially in the bathroom.
  • Buy a chair for the shower or tub.
  • Modify tubs to eliminate stepping up.
  • Shop for an easy to use medical alert call button for emergency help.
  • Purchase a lift system for easing movement in and out of beds and chairs.
  • Raise the toilet to make sitting and standing less strenuous.
  • Use a commode to eliminate problems at night.
  • Change round doorknobs to easier to grip door handles.
  • Modify lamps with bigger, easier to use switches.
  • Buy clothes and shoes with Velcro closures instead of tricky buttons, zippers or laces.
  • Switch regular cutlery for easy to grip, weighted ones.
  • Consolidate the living area on to the ground floor to eliminate the need for stairs.

With some smart planning you can greatly reduce the struggle that so many arthritis sufferers deal with on a daily basis. For more senior care advice, visit ElderKind at http:elderkind.com.



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