Arthritis is a condition that sadly affects many. For older people, the condition can be more prevalent. It is painful, uncomfortable, and can even be debilitating without effective management.
The good news is, there are plenty of resources available to ensure you continue to still live a fulfilled life even if struggling from arthritis.
It is crucial that if you or a loved one have the condition, you learn how to manage the disease as it often gets worse with age.
Here are 5 things you can do to help manage the discomfort that comes with arthritis.
1. Pain management.
Pain management is key to supporting you with your arthritis. Temporary pain relief can be obtained by simple things, such as applying heat and ice packs to specific areas of the body.
Additionally, they can help you relax while distracting you from the pain. It is recommended though to discuss your specific situation and pain with your medical professionals or specialists. This team will be able to understand your condition and offer additional ways to manage it.
2. Exercise and Diet.
Dietary changes can greatly assist in managing arthritis by reducing inflammation. For example, food rich in omega-3 oils such as Salmon and Tuna, can be great for inflammation reduction.
Keeping active is a great way to manage arthritis in older adults as well. There are many benefits including increased flexibility, a reduction in pain and stiffness, as well as strengthening muscles, which can help lessen joint strain.
A healthy diet and increased physical activity can lower your risk of getting the condition.
Along with diet and exercise, there are other risk factors, you could consider addressing:
- Joint Overuse.
It is important to stay at a healthy weight, especially for those with arthritis. This is because losing weight can reduce stress on your joints which can help relieve pain.
Low-impact activity such as walking combined with a good diet will help you lose weight.
If you would like to learn more about managing your weight, you can click here.
3. Consider Hiring Professional Help.
To maintain maximum independence for our clients, our goal at myHomecare is to support them in any way we can.
There are many services that can assist with arthritis management that you could consider.
Tasks such as meal preparation, light housekeeping, and medication management can all be challenging, due to arthritis.
This is where an extra set of hands may be useful. You can speak to an expert from myHomecare on 1300 203 903 to find out more about what this entails or support you may be eligible for.
What are the most common types of Arthritis?
The most common forms of arthritis in older adults are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid.
What exactly is Osteoarthritis?
In older people, osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis.
This occurs when the cartilage between bones in the joints wears away. As a result, you can feel painful, swollen, and stiff.
Risk factors for osteoarthritis include: excessive weight, family history, and a previous joint injury.
What exactly is Rheumatoid arthritis?
A less common form of arthritis is called rheumatoid arthritis. Although it is less common, the pain can be greater for those impacted.
Rheumatoid can lead to a malfunctioning immune system. In a person suffering from rheumatoid arthritis, the immune system attacks and inflames the joints.
Early symptoms of Rheumatoid may include:
- Long-term joint pain, tenderness, stiffness, or swelling.
- Stiffness lasting 30 minutes or more in the morning.
- More than one joint is affected.
- On both sides of the body, the same joints are affected.
There are many ways in which arthritis can impact older adults.
When managing arthritis, it is important to ensure that there is a balance between activities and rest, as too much of either can cause pain.
Arthritis Australia recommends scheduling activities for the day, followed by plenty of rest.
It is worth adjusting the schedule to include more rest and pain management if you are experiencing a day with more pain than usual.
The most important thing to note is that you are not alone and there are plenty of resources available to help you manage your condition.
Talk about your feelings with your loved ones, Care Manager, or a specialist.
To learn more about arthritis, you can click here.