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What Home Care Can Do for Seniors with Arthritis

April 6, 2021

What Home Care Can Do for Seniors with Arthritis: Arthritis can be a particularly difficult challenge for elderly people living at home. Nearly half of all seniors report a diagnosed case of arthritis. Arthritis is not a single condition, but a way of describing joint pain and inflammation that happens most frequently in the elderly.

Seniors living at home have a difficult time with arthritis; because it can limit mobility, flexibility and fine motor control. Arthritis can occur in any joint, such as hips and knees.

What Types of Arthritis Are Common for Seniors in Home Care?

According to the Mayo Clinic, there are two major types of arthritis in seniors; osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Osteoarthritis occurs when cartilage, the tissue that keeps bones from contacting each other at the joint, begins to break down, causing swelling and pain in the joints. It is generally caused by simple wear and tear on the joints over the course of years.

Rheumatoid Arthritis occurs when the body’s immune system begins to attack the joints. This causes pain and inflammation in the joints, usually starting with the smaller joints in the hand and foot. The body’s natural response is to produce antibodies, which then cause swelling, causing more discomfort and more pain. There are more type of arthritis, including:

  • Ankylosing spondylitis
  • Gout
  • Juvenile idiopathic arthritis
  • Psoriatic arthritis
  • Reactive arthritis
  • Septic arthritis
  • Thumb arthritis

A joint damage cannot be reversed. The best treatment is early detection and management of the condition.

What Should Seniors in Home Care Do to Live with Arthritis?

Since there is no cure for arthritis, it’s important for seniors to manage the symptoms and limit the damage to the joints. Your medical professional will outline a course of treatment that can help you maintain as much mobility and flexibility as possible. Typically, these recommendations will include some combination of the following:

  • Regular exercise. Experts recommend 30 to 40 minutes a day, 3 to 4 times per week, in order to maintain mobility.
  • Prescription medications. There are several categories of medicines that your medical professional may prescribe, and over-the-counter treatments that may be recommended.
    • NSAID and Analgesics: intended for pain relief and reduction of inflammation.
    • Corticosteroids: fast-acting, anti-inflammatories which can provide temporary relief.
    • Disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs): drugs that can slow or stop your immune system from attacking your joints.
    • Biologic response modifiers: typically used in conjunction with DMARDs and are targeted to the specific proteins involved in the immune system’s response.
    • Anti-irritants: generally topical creams that can help reduce pain by blocking pain signals sent to the brain.
  • Physical therapy. This can help strengthen the muscles surrounding affected joints, lessening the strain on them.
  • Surgery. Depending on the severity of the condition, joint fusion, repair or replacement could be recommended.

The fact that there is no cure is why having an at-home caregiver can help.

Adaptive Products Assist Seniors in Home Care With Arthritis

Many elderly people living with arthritis struggle with pain and have difficulty performing everyday tasks. There are some products that can help, including:

  • Arthritis gloves and sleeves. These may help reduce swelling and relieve pain. Imany compression sleeves made with copper advertise additional benefits to arthritis sufferers. However, there is no evidence that these products provide any additional relief.
  • Lever doorknob adapters. Turning knobs can be difficult; a lever-type adapter can make it easier.
  • Positioning aides. From positioning wedges to knee separator pillows, there are plenty of devices to help seniors with arthritis be more comfortable.
  • Voice typing apps. Trying to type with arthritic hands can be slow and painful. There are many voice-to-text apps that can assist seniors with arthritis.

These products, plus a host of others designed for elderly people with arthritis, can make a big difference in quality of life. But products alone can’t do the job; seniors need help.

In-Home Care Aides Can Help Seniors with Arthritis

It’s important for seniors with arthritis to be able to maintain as much mobility and flexibility as possible. But some everyday tasks may become too much to handle alone. An in-home caregiver can help with many aspects of everyday activities that will allow seniors to live with the disease more successfully.

Meal preparation and planning. It’s a fact of life that cooking gets more difficult for seniors with arthritis. Food Network star Alton Brown frequently notes that his grandmother’s arthritis was an essential part of her famous biscuit recipe.

For most seniors with arthritis, simply opening a jar or a can is difficult. An at-home care aide can help plan and prepare healthy meals.

Medication reminders and management. Pill bottles are notoriously difficult to open for people with arthritis. A home care aide can help organize your pills in a way to make them easier to access.

Home Care Powered by AUAF Brings Help for Seniors with Arthritis

The caring aides at Home Care Powered by AUAF can assist your elderly relative with the everyday challenges of living with arthritis. Whether it’s light housekeeping or laundry, our caregivers are up to the task at hand. Find out more about our caregivers by calling us at 773-274-9262 or contact us.

DISCLAIMER: Home Care Powered by AUAF has not tested or reviewed any of the products listed, and do not endorse and brand or product. Home Care Powered by AUAF does not receive any commission, consideration or benefit from the purchase of any products linked in this blog. 

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