People diagnosed with arthritis have a greater hindrance than most. The lack of a cure for this progressively worsening joint condition can be the source of much emotional stress. No one wants to be immobilized by something they have no control over, but the good news is there are ways to decrease the severity of arthritis.
Osteoarthritis is the form the majority of elderly patients are affected by, as it specifically targets the cartilage between a person’s joints. In light of a large population of aging adults, the Center for Disease Control has deemed arthritis the leading cause of disability in the United States. In fact, one out of every nine Americans with arthritis feels that it puts a damper on their social life and makes them feel as though they’re unable to enjoy activities they once did, such as shopping, visiting family and friends, etc. It’s no surprise that another study revealed that one out of every three adults with arthritis suffers from depression.
Understanding the Changes
The physical and emotional components of arthritis make it important for the person with the disorder and their loved ones to understand and best cope with the effects of arthritis. Restrictions on a person’s mobility include the limited capacity to walk, grab, and stand. The degree of joint damage directly correlates with how well an elderly arthritis patient can perform basic actions and daily activities without assistance.
Despite the current state of your loved one’s condition, a healthy approach is to prepare for the worst-case scenario. Does this mean he or she will soon be disabled and unable to do anything without their caretaker? No, but proper arthritis home care can make your, and their, life a lot easier if the arthritis reaches a critical state.
Please note there are an abundance of ways to maximize your loved one’s joint strength and get the most out of their body. Just as the risk of heart disease, stroke, and high blood pressure are increased by unhealthy diets and lifestyles, so too is arthritis. The affliction is usually more severe in patients who lack sufficient nutrition and who live sedentary lifestyles.
How to Prepare for Elderly Arthritis
Preparation need not entail drastic living changes, but rather gradual adjustments to the way things currently are. For instance, if your loved one is complaining more frequently about joint pain, establishing a daily routine meant to alleviate their discomfort is a good idea.
The combination of hot and cold muscle treatments is very effective at decreasing arthritis symptoms. As noted by the Arthritis Foundation, a bath, hot tub, or hydrotherapy session will assist in loosening the muscles and joints, and following up with an ice pack will reduce the swelling. This whole process only takes 15-20 minutes a day, but can have major, positive results.
Upon doctor approval, make it a goal for your loved one to partake in some form of physical activity every day. The possibilities are endless and range from a walk around the park, swimming, participating in yoga classes, and sewing. Any activity that promotes joint movement is crucial for controlling arthritis. Take this as an opportunity to spend more time with them; the burden of caretaking is indeed a big one, which is why finding ways to enjoy one another’s company is important.
What activities do you do with your loved one? Tell us in the comments below.