Arthritis is incredibly common in both older and younger people. For your senior, it can be disheartening to find that joints she used to rely on are now in a lot of pain and don’t function the way that they used to. In some advanced cases of arthritis, having help from in-home care providers can make daily tasks easier and much less painful. Here is some information that can help your elderly family member to live with arthritis.
Very often an arthritis diagnosis requires a combination of tests, exams, and questions about your senior’s medical and family history. There are some blood tests that can help to identify specific types of arthritis as well. Your elderly family member might not realize that arthritis can occur anywhere in the body where there are joints, so some pain that she is experiencing unexpectedly might actually be due to arthritis.
Symptoms of Arthritis
Often arthritis is characterized by pain and swelling in joints, along with stiffness. Some types of arthritis might also include redness at the joint, heat in the joint, and difficulty moving that part of the body. If your elderly family member is having any new pain or discomfort in a joint, it’s important that she talks with her doctor to determine if she’s facing arthritis or some other health condition.
Using Movement to Manage Arthritis
Joints that aren’t moved often tend to be stiffer and more uncomfortable. That, in turn, can make your senior more reluctant to move those joints. As strange as it might sound to her, movement can help her joints to feel less stiff and even a little less painful. Remembering to exercise can be another problem, and in-home care providers can help your senior stick to her new routines.
Other Management Strategies
Depending on what else is going on with your senior’s health, there might be some other ways that she can manage her arthritis. Adjusting how she does certain activities might help to relieve pressure on joints, for example. Or losing a bit of weight can help if the arthritis is in your senior’s lower body. Her doctor can recommend a plan to tackle a variety of aspects of arthritis.
Staying on Target
What really matters is that when your senior finds strategies and techniques that help her to deal with her arthritis, she sticks to the plan. That’s a lot easier when she has support from home care providers and from you and other family members. There is no cure for arthritis, so the best that your elderly family member can hope for is that she’s able to manage how she feels on a daily basis. With time and careful attention to what works and what doesn’t, she’ll have a plan that works for her.
Arthritis tends to get worse rather than better, but it does vary from one person to another as to how quickly arthritis advances. There might be a lot of different factors that contribute to how your senior experiences arthritis, including hereditary factors and other health conditions.
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