If your aging parent has been diagnosed as having gout, he most likely has been experiencing a lot of pain when it flares up. Gout is a common type of arthritis that affects many people. Its main symptom is usually a sudden, severe attack of pain that comes and goes along with swelling, redness, and tenderness in the joints. The joint that seems to be most often affected is the joint at the base of the big toe, but it can affect any of your parent’s joints. When not flaring up, it can still cause a constant pain that makes daily actions like walking difficult to do. It may also cause inflammation that will make wearing shoes extremely uncomfortable.
While treatments from your parent’s physician will often require medications to treat acute attacks, you can also help your parent manage his symptoms at home when an attack occurs.
Elevation and Ice
To help reduce swelling as well as pain, have your parent find a chair or area where he can elevate the painful joints. Bring him an ice pack (and towel if it’s too cold) to place on the affected area. Both should reduce swelling. If your elderly care provider is visiting, she can make sure the ice pack gets re-cooled or put fresh ice in the pack. The elderly care provider can also help by bringing items to your parent while he’s resting.
Drink Plenty of Fluids
Encourage your parent to keep hydrated while resting. Staying hydrated will help his body flush out the uric acid (that’s what’s causing the pain in his joint). Some studies have shown that Vitamin C can help speed up that process so have your parent alternate drinking water with drinks rich in Vitamin C, like juices, to speed up the process to recovery. An elderly care provider can assist by making sure your parent has plenty of fluids ready for him to drink.
Create Gout-friendly Socks
With the sensitivity of the joint, sometime even wearing socks can be painful, but your parent doesn’t want his feet to get cold. Cut a hole out of a sock where the big toe is so that his toe doesn’t have a pressured cover over it while the rest of the foot stays warm.
Review Your Parent’s Diet
Some foods have been proven to make gout worse – especially those high in purine. If your parent enjoys red meat, shellfish and/or organ meats, you’ll want to have him eliminate those from his diet, not only when he’s suffering from a bout but also during times that he doesn’t have gout. Reducing the intake of these foods will reduce the chances of him coming down with gout again.
Get Him a Cane
A cane will help your parent to not put as much pressure on foot as he walks around. Your elderly care provider can also assist by providing physical support as your parent walks around, especially on stairs.
Most cases of gout come and go. Providing home remedies for your parent during a flare-up will help him better manage his pain and discomfort.
If you or an aging loved one are considering non-medical in-home care in Jacksonville, FL, call Griswold Home Care
and speak to one of our caring staff members today. Call (904) 342-6040