Arthritis is painful, uncomfortable, and can be debilitating for older people. As a result, mobility can be reduced, which should not be underestimated.
As arthritis often worsens with age, it is vital that older people who suffer from arthritis learn how to manage their disease.
What are the different types of arthritis?
Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid are the most common types of arthritis in older adults.
What is Osteoarthritis?
Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis for older people.
It occurs as the cartilage between bones in the joints wears away. A painful, swollen, and stiff feeling will result from this. While Osteoarthritis can damage any joint, it most commonly affects joints in your knees, hips, spine, and hands.
Besides excessive weight, family history, and a previous joint injury, other risk factors include aging and excessive weight.
What is Rheumatoid arthritis?
Rheumatoid is another form of arthritis, however, it is less common.
Although it is less prevalent, the pain can be greater than that experienced with Osteoarthritis.
As a result of this, the immune system does not function properly. In a person suffering from Rheumatoid arthritis, the immune system attacks and inflames the joints.
Early symptoms of Rheumatoid can include:
- Long-term joint pain, tenderness, swelling, or stiffness.
- Stiffness lasting 30 minutes or more in the morning.
- The problem affects more than one joint.
- On both sides of the body, the same joints are affected.
If you or someone you know is currently suffering from arthritis, here are 5 things you can do to help relieve the pain.
For older adults with arthritis, regular exercise is essential for managing the condition and can be an effective method of treating it! A person with arthritis can benefit from physical activity as it can reduce pain and stiffness, increase flexibility, and strengthen muscles.
2. Pain management.
Heat and ice packs can be used to provide temporary pain relief to targeted areas of the body.
Additionally, they can distract those suffering from arthritis from their pain and help them relax. It is recommended, however, that clients discuss their pain with their specialists. This is because they can better understand a person’s condition and support them to find additional ways to manage it.
3. Diet and lifestyle changes.
By reducing inflammation, certain dietary changes can greatly assist in managing arthritis.
Foods that are high in Omega-3 oils, such as salmon, can often be beneficial to those with arthritis.
4. Assist with Medication and Treatment Management.
Medication and other remedies are often effective in treating arthritis.
With some simple ideas, such as asking a pharmacist to make an upside-down cap and using a pill popper device in foil packaging, caregivers can help ensure treatment plans are being followed.
You could also look into pre-packaged medication systems that package all medications in easy-to-open daily packets.
5. Hire Professional Help.
It is our goal to help our clients maintain as much independence as possible. Some people benefit from the assistance of a professional.
Meal preparation, light housekeeping, and medication management can all be more challenging tasks due to arthritis.
This is where a Support Worker may come in. If you would like to find out more about what this entails, you can speak to someone from the myHomecare Group on 1300 209 020.
It is possible to lower your risk of arthritis by making certain lifestyle changes, such as eating healthier and becoming more physically active.
The most important thing is not to suffer in silence. If you are supporting someone with arthritis, encourage them to get the help they need. If you are struggling personally with arthritis, there is support available. We suggest speaking to your loved ones, a Care Manager, or a specialist about how you are feeling.
We hope you have found this blog post helpful, always speak to a medical professional about any treatment options you are considering.
To learn more about arthritis, click here.