Arthritis can cause pain, stiffness, and movement restrictions. Since these symptoms can significantly impact daily life, caring for a senior family member with this condition can be a challenging and heartbreaking experience. To give them the support they need and help them in the best way possible, you should learn more about this disease through this guide.
What Is Arthritis?
Arthritis is a disease characterized by the swelling of multiple joints that can lead to tenderness, mobility issues, and severe aches. It commonly affects hands, feet, hips, knees, and lower back. It is also usually caused by autoimmune diseases, viral infections, a family history of arthritis, or an activity that puts repeated stress on the joints.
What Are the Different Types of Arthritis?
Arthritis is not a single disease. It comes in more than a hundred types and related conditions, but here are the three most commonly diagnosed ones:
1. Rheumatoid Arthritis
In rheumatoid arthritis (RA), the immune system attacks healthy body cells and tissues and mistakes them for being unhealthy. It attacks multiple joints at once, affects the lining of the joints, and causes inflammation. As a result, a person with this disease can suffer from a lack of balance, deformities, and chronic pain.
Osteoarthritis is a degenerative disease that affects the joints. It causes cartilage to break down. Since there is no protective cushion to prevent bones from rubbing together, it can lead to stiffness, pain, and inflammation.
3. Psoriatic Arthritis
This type of arthritis affects people who have psoriasis. Besides skin patches, its main symptoms include stiffness, swelling, and joint pain. It can attack any body part, even the fingertips.
How Do You Care For a Loved One with Arthritis?
Proper care and attention are necessary to make your loved one with arthritis feel better. Here are some common treatment options that can help manage their symptoms:
1. Physical Activity
Although this disease causes mobility issues, it’s essential to encourage your senior loved one to keep moving. Doing this eases pain, improves mood, and reduces the risk of injury and chronic diseases.
Another benefit from regular exercise is maintaining a healthy weight. Since excess weight can put extra pressure on already-inflamed joints, weight management is essential when managing arthritis.
Besides regular exercise, gentle stretching is important to keep joints moving and healthy. These stretching exercises must move joints through a full range of motion. To achieve the best results and avoid injury, seek senior health services and ask for help from a physical therapist.
Another way to relieve arthritis pain is taking prescribed medications. Work with an elderly care provider specializing in at-home care to ensure your loved one receives regular medication reminders.
4. Medical Care
Working with licensed clinical support can provide your loved one who has arthritis with homecare services. Doing this allows you to stay informed about their disease and symptoms by monitoring their condition and progress.
As your senior loved one’s caregiver, it’s your responsibility to become familiar with your family member’s disease so you can learn how to minimize their pain and discomfort effectively. To receive professional help in managing their symptoms and helping them remain functionally independent for as long as possible, hire a trusted home health care agency.
Feel free to reach out to Bridge Home Health and Hospice if you are seeking home care in California. Our licensed and highly trained therapists, nurses, and other staff provide the highest quality of care to improve your loved one’s well-being and quality of life. Contact us to learn more about how we can help you and your family!