Have you noticed your elderly loved one wincing as they go to grab something off the table? Do they seem to be experiencing pain or swelling in their joints or have their fingers and toes bent out of shape? If so, sadly your senior loved one is dealing with arthritis.
The word arthritis means “inflammation” or “swelling” in one or many joints in your body. While there are more than 100 types of arthritis, the two most common types are rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. Both result in stiffness, swelling, and inflammation and, if not addressed, can lead to disability. The most obvious way to help your aging parent with arthritis is by assisting them with the activities that are essential for their daily living. If you are lacking in time management, then we have trained family caregivers who are experienced in providing senior home care services, to help make yours and your parents’ life easier.
There is no cure for Arthritis, but there are ways to manage the symptoms to remain mobile and have a good quality of life. Encourage your elderly loved one to indulge in one or more of these strategies to help them relieve achy joints and pain.
8 Ways to Deal with Arthritis Pain
1. Have an Anti-Inflammatory Plant-Based Diet:
An anti-inflammatory diet may reduce chronic pain and stiffness that results from both rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. A few examples from diet are nuts, chia seeds, fruits, leafy green vegetables, tofu, green tea, whole grains, and food that is rich in Omega 3 such as salmon, oysters etc. Avoid consuming processed food, carbohydrates, and sugar. It is also recommended to switch to health oils such as Olive and Canola. Research says eating Mediterranean food helps reduce inflammation that contributes to the symptoms of arthritis.
2. Keep Pain Under Control:
Over the counter medications will not cure arthritis but can ease out the pain. One of the most common medications is Tylenol because it has no side effects and can be taken daily. Other over the counter medications such as Ibuprofen, Advil, and Aspirin can also help in easing the pain but may have some kind of side effects attached to it. We advise you to talk to your primary care doctor about the medications that can help with arthritic pain.
3. Consume Supplements:
In addition to eating anti-inflammatory food, taking a dietary supplement will help in reducing aches and stiffness in the body. For an elderly individual whose diet is minimal, is advised to consume supplements along with their meal. A few examples are Vitamin D and Omega 3. Vitamin D helps in building strong bones and relieves joint pain for many individuals. Whereas Omega 3, can lead to modest reduction of symptoms related to arthritis.
Water makes up 60-70% of body weight among adults. It helps flush out toxins from the body, which can fight inflammation and reduce the friction between bones that will help your senior one move easily without any pain. The general recommendation is to drink around 67 ounces (2 liters) of water each day. This amount may vary depending on an individuals’ medication, exercise level, and dietary restrictions too.
5. Try Heat and Cold Therapy:
When your senior loved one is experiencing terrible aches in their body, try opting for heat and cold therapy. Heat therapy such as heating pads, paraffin wax, hot shower, or warm damp compress can help reduce morning stiffness and cold therapy such as an ice pack, frozen towel, or cold gel will help reduce any swellings around the body. Seniors can alternate between cold and heat therapies depending upon their situation. Usually cold therapies work the best, as they slow down pain signals reaching the brain.
6. Try Massaging Everyday:
Gently massaging the pain areas will help and calm your senior loved one’s pain. If even gentle massage is painful for them, try applying some creams and oil that will help reduce the friction. You can also look for massage guns for them which are helpful for arthritic care.
7. Exercise Regularly:
Research suggests engaging in physical activity may help reduce stiffness and improve arthritis in individuals. This may sound difficult for your loved one as they may feel overwhelmed due to their aches and joint pain. But staying in bed or sitting for the whole day will not help. It will increase stiffness and inflammation in the body. If your elderly loved one does not like to do exercise, then you could encourage them to do the following activities:
- Going up and down the stairs
- Riding a bicycle
- Bending forward and backward at least 10 times a day
- Going grocery shopping or putting groceries in the fridge
- Kicking a ball
8. Try Self-Help Supporting Devices:
There are many arthritis friendly devices that can help your aging parent stay independent. These devices include canes, braces for the hand and knee, crutches, and sprints. Using them will help them at least do daily activities that are required for living.
Seek Help or Support from Home Caregivers
It is okay to ask for some help! Learn how a caregiver can provide great elder care services to help them manage your senior’s arthritis pain.
- A family caregiver can help with chores and maintenance of the house such as sweeping, washing dishes, and cooking.
- Caregiver services help seniors with their day-to-day activities such as exercising, eating a healthy diet, and taking medications on-time.
- Homecare Services help seniors with socializing. Sometimes your elderly parents may feel bored by sitting at home and watching T.V. all day. That’s where a caregiver comes in and gives emotional support to them.
- Seniors with arthritis can be a threat to themselves as they will always be at risk of falling or hurting themselves. A trained caregiver can make sure they get plenty of rest and keep their surroundings safe and sound for them.
Homecare Services of Seniors with Arthritis
If you have a loved one that you believe is struggling with arthritis and need assistance, we recommend you hiring in-home senior care services. We at Assisting Hands Home Care help seniors in most Northwest Chicago Suburbs including Park Ridge, Niles, Des Plaines, Palatine, Schaumburg, and Hoffman Estates. We offer personalized elder care for each client to help make their life easier.
If you have any questions, please give us a call at (847) 796-6685 or submit a form on our website.