When we think about getting older, sore and achy joints are one of the first things that come to mind. As the lifelong wear and tear on our cartilage racks up beyond middle age, it feels inevitable that we won’t be as limber as we were in our youths. However, some joint pain goes beyond passing discomfort. Osteoarthritis is a serious condition that can deeply impact a senior’s quality of life, and it’s best to start treating it early.
Arthritis symptoms range from unpleasant to debilitating. They include joint pain and stiffness, often accompanied by swelling and redness. There are over 100 different types of arthritis affecting people across all age groups. In fact, arthritis is the leading cause of disability in America today. Seniors suffer this disease more than any other age group, with profound impacts on their daily activities.
Luckily there are ways for seniors to treat their arthritis as well as compensating for reductions in joint function. From treating symptoms to getting help from a caregiver, seniors do not need to suffer through the pain and limitations of arthritis unaided.
Osteoarthritis Is Common But Treatable
54 million people—almost a quarter of all American adults—have arthritis. Among that group, 24 million experience limited mobility. The most common type of arthritis is osteoarthritis, caused by cartilage breaking down through time and use. With less protective cartilage, joints become stiff and tender.
Though there is no cure for osteoarthritis, there are many steps that can reduce pain and improve joint function. As common as it is, arthritis pain is not a fact of aging. With wide-ranging treatment options, seniors have many ways of alleviating symptoms and living life to the fullest again.
Medication can help reduce joint tenderness and pain. Acetaminophen and opioids focus on the pain itself, while NSAIDs also help reduce joint inflammation. Platelet-rich-plasma injections are another possible treatment, and have shown improvements in symptoms. Keep in mind the potential dangers that over the counter pain medications can pose to seniors. Talk to your doctor about which medication might be right for your symptoms.
Exercise is an essential component of any arthritic treatment regimen. Strength exercises can help build muscle mass and take the strain off ailing joints. Range of motion exercises can also help keep joints more limber.
At the end of the day, treating arthritis symptoms can improve a patient’s outlook. Along with treatments, having a loved one or caregiver in the home is a great way for seniors to get help with difficult activities.
Home Caregivers Can Offer Assistance
Arthritis has a wide impact on everyday activities. It can make a simple procedure like cooking dinner or brushing teeth painful or even impossible. A home caregiver can help seniors with arthritis complete the tasks that are too awkward or painful to do alone.
Though the impacts of osteoarthritis might seem minor at first, it’s best not to let things slide. When seniors struggle with the little things, it leads to bigger problems. Skipping tooth-brushing due to joint pain, for instance, can lead to tooth and gum disease. In time and left untreated, dental hygiene issues can even lead to heart disease. This is why it’s so important to seek help early and not discount the effect that daily habits can have on overall wellness. Home caregivers are there to look out for seniors’ health. With help from a caregiver, arthritis doesn’t have to slow seniors down.
About Generations Home Care
Generations Home Care personalized in-home care and support services help those recovering from illness, injury, or surgery, living with a chronic disease, or dealing with the natural process of aging. We help people live a fuller, healthier, and independent life.
Our caregivers are trained in the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommended COVID-19 safety precautions. We offer levels of care ranging from companionship, to respite for the primary family caregiver, to homemaking services, to assistance with activities of daily living, to Alzheimer’s and dementia care. Generations Home Care takes a holistic approach and emphasizes a consistent, client-centered plan of care.
Our Specialty Services Include:
- Rehab or hospital-to-home programs for safe discharge.
- Short-term post-operative care during recovery periods.
- Non-medical life management services for people with chronic conditions.
- Veteran’s connection to care program.
- Live-in services and couples care.
If you’d like to learn more about how we can help you, contact us today at 602-595-HOME (4663) or by filling out the contact form on our website.