Helping Seniors Deal with Parkinson’s DiseaseJune 8, 2016
Parkinson’s Disease DementiaJune 16, 2016
Dealing with arthritis is one of the most common health complaints in seniors. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 50% of Americans aged 65 or older suffer from arthritis.
Arthritis can dramatically impact a person’s quality of life and managing this painful condition can be quite challenging. This article is about dealing with arthritis provides information about this debilitating disease and the ways that seniors can deal with it.
What is Arthritis?
Arthritis is an inflammatory condition that affects the joints. There are more than 100 different types of arthritis, with the most common forms being osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and psoriatic arthritis. Osteoarthritis occurs from general wear-and-tear to the body while rheumatoid arthritis is caused by a problem with the immune system that causes inflammation.
The common symptoms of arthritis include joint pain, swelling, and stiffness. Because there are so many forms of arthritis, it is important to talk to a doctor and have a diagnosis performed. Arthritis frequently appears in finger joints, knees, and wrists.
There is no known cure for the most common forms of arthritis, but there are a variety of treatments which can help reduce the severity of symptoms. They include:
Research has demonstrated that physical therapy can reduce the long-term pain associated with arthritis. Ideally, the exercise performed will also benefit the cardiovascular system by elevating the heart rate and involve moving the arthritic joint.
Regularly moving the affected joint will also improve function and can delay the need for surgical intervention. Some studies have found that regular exercise of knee joints affected by osteoarthritis can even be more effective than medications!
Physical therapy usually works best when guided by a trained professional. They can ensure that the elderly performs the right types of exercise for the required duration. Occupational therapy is also highly beneficial and helps the senior continue to perform many of their regular daily tasks, despite having arthritis.
There is a range of medications which can be used to manage the inflammation and pain associated with arthritis. Seniors with osteoarthritis may start on common over-the-counter painkillers like paracetamol. If seniors have a form of inflammatory arthritis, they may be prescribed non-steroidal anti-inflammatories. Anti-inflammatory drugs like Methotrexate may also be used for treating forms of arthritis caused by immune system disorders.
Some forms of arthritis may be treated with surgery. There are also an increasing number of stem cell procedures being performed on people with osteoarthritis.
Some seniors have been able to reduce their pain levels by having pulse electromagnetic field therapy performed. The therapy uses a machine that pulses magnetic fields through the injured tissue.
How Non-Medical Home Care Can Help
Home care is a service designed to help an elderly person with special needs stay in their home instead of being forced into an assisted living facility. Caregivers can perform a variety of everyday tasks including cooking, cleaning, shopping, helping with personal hygiene, helping with medications and much more. Home care can also provide transportation service and make sure that seniors make it to their doctor’s appointments.
An in-home Caregiver can help a person dealing with arthritis in a number of ways, including:
Helping to make the home a safe space
A person with a form of arthritis that affects their knees or ankles may have difficulty moving around indoor spaces. A home care management team member can complete a site inspection of your home to ensure that your home is designed to accommodate your mobility issues by:
- Making sure the home’s interior spaces are well lit
- Removing any trip hazards like cords, furniture, area rugs, and unnecessary clutter
- Making sure that the everyday items are within easy reach and don’t require them to stand on chairs or ladders
Good nutrition is important for combating many forms of arthritis including osteoarthritis. Home care professionals ensure that seniors are eating the right kinds of foods to combat their illness and stay healthy.
Cooking can also become very difficult if a person has a form arthritis that affects their hands. Turning knobs on faucets, handling knives and opening containers become difficult. In-home caregivers can help a senior deal with these challenges around the home.
Maintaining an exercise regime
Because exercise has such a great effect on reducing the symptoms of arthritis, it must be performed on a regular basis. Home care professionals can assist senior clients in performing their assigned exercises to treat their condition.
Helping with medication management
Home care professionals can pick up their client’s medication from the pharmacy and help them remember to take them.
Assistance getting to doctor’s appointments
It can become very difficult for a person affected by arthritis to venture into public. Home care professionals can make it easier by providing the assistance they need. This can include helping them to get ready for a doctor’s appointment, assistance getting into the vehicle and making it to the doctor’s office.
There are many more ways that home care can help seniors in dealing with arthritis and to maintain their independence and good health! If you are interested in learning more All Heart Home Care, contact us today at 619-736-4677 for a free in-home consultation.