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Tips for Caring for Seniors with Arthritis

Posted on: May 14th, 2015 by vgmforbin
Caring for someone who has arthritis is best done by understanding the specific condition and learning how you can help.

Caring for someone who has arthritis is best done by understanding the specific condition and learning how you can help.

 

There are an estimated 52.5 million adults in the United States that have been told they have some kind of arthritis. There are two different kinds of arthritis that affect the joints as well as the connective tissue surrounding them. Rheumatoid arthritis causes the joints to swell. Osteoarthritis is when the cartilage between the joints disintegrates, causing the bones to rub against one another. Both of these cause stiffness and pain the joints which make it hard for those affected to move their joints. The key to caring for those who live with arthritis is to understand their condition. That is why we are offering some tips for those who are assisting elderly people cope with their arthritis.

Medications

Familiarize yourself with the medications that your loved one is prescribed. Many seniors simply forget to take their medications and need a reminder. Sometimes the arthritis makes it difficult to reach higher shelves or open bottles. If this is the case, separate the medications into easy-to-open containers or accessible drawers.

Exercise and Nutrition

Physical activity should be part of everyone’s routine, including those with arthritis. Low impact exercises like yoga, swimming, walking, or riding a bike will only put minimal pressure on the joints. It is important for individuals with arthritis to manage their weight because excess weight can put more strain on the muscles and joints, making arthritis symptoms worse. Family caregivers can help their loved ones exercise regularly. Diet also plays a role in helping seniors with arthritis manage their weight. Help your loved one avoid foods full of sugar, fat and salt. Encourage them to eat more fruits, vegetables and whole grains.

Accessibility

An important part of helping loved ones with arthritis live in their home is to make things easily accessible. Keep a scissors in an easily accessible drawer to open packages that can be difficult for those with pain in their hands. Electric can openers and other tools can help seniors open things without relying on a caregiver or causing pain. While your loved one may not think to buy these things on their own, making these purchases for them is an easy and inexpensive way for caregivers to help.

Those who are offering care to individuals with arthritis need to understand that inflammation and pain can make simple daily tasks difficult. Keep your patience and be ready to help before your loved one even asks. LA Medical offers different aids to daily living that can help your loved ones live comfortably with their arthritis. You can view these products and more in our online catalog.

Arthritis Causes Friction: Common Types and Treatments

Posted on: October 10th, 2013 by LAMedicalBlogger

Generally, arthritis is an inflammation of your joints.  Medically, arthritis has a different explanation which is used to describe more than 100 rheumatic diseases and conditions that affect joints.  Arthritis can actually affect organs and cause widespread symptoms. With over 100 different kinds of arthritis, LA Medical will go over arthritis causes, the more common types of arthritis and treatments.

Arthritis

There are three common forms of arthritis, described by the CDC:

  • Osteoarthritis – A degenerative joint disease that affects the cartilage and its underlying bone within a joint, as well as bony overgrowth. The most common joint affected by this form of arthritis is male and female knees.
  • Rheumatoid (RA) – An autoimmune condition that causes premature mortality, disability and comprised quality of life.  RA manifests itself in multiple joints of the body and can inflame at any
    time. Pain is a result of faulty immune response.
  • Juvenile Arthritis (JA) – This autoimmune disease affects children 16 years old and younger.  JA shares similar qualities with RA and affects an average of 80,000 children.

Common treatment and prevention plans for adults and children who suffer from these top three arthritis types are to stay active, protect your joints by reducing the amount of trauma they get and get involved to find out more about arthritis and support groups.

LA Medical is proud to celebrate and promote World Arthritis Day on October 12th.  Arthritis affects 50 million adults every year and can be very painful.  World Arthritis Day promotes living better and aging well while overcoming different types of arthritis and they also raise awareness for arthritis disorders in the medical community, people who live with arthritis and the general public.  World Arthritis Day also strives to help people receive the care they deserve and influence public policy by making decision-makers aware of arthritis disorders.

Make sure to contact LA Medical with any questions or concerns. Check out our full online catalog today!

Skeletal Health Tips for Bone and Joint Health National Awareness Week

Posted on: October 8th, 2013 by LAMedicalBlogger

You’ve probably had back or joint pain at one point in your life or another.  Bone and joint conditions are the most common cause of severe long-term pain and physical disability worldwide affecting hundreds of millions of people, according to the Bone and Joint Initiative. Throughout the week of October 12-20 is the Bone and Joint Health National Awareness Week which is focused on disorders including arthritis, back pain, osteoporosis and trauma.  All month, LA Medical will provide skeletal health tips so you can protect your bones and joints.

Skeletal Health

Have you ever been told to drink your milk to improve bone strength? Drinking milk and getting calcium into your diet is a key benefit to your overall bone health.  Bones help protect our organs, help with our posture and attach muscles to each other.  Your body makes new bone quicker than the old bone breaking down. After age 30, you don’t produce any more bone mass.
Drink milk, or soy milk if you’re lactose intolerant, and eat dark green vegetables, fish and health supplements to decrease your risk of fractures and improve bone density.What can you do to keep your bones healthy? Take a look below:

  • Make sure to exercise! Physical activity reduces your risk of osteoporosis.
  • Limit your consumption of alcohol and use of tobacco products.  Tobacco weakens your bones and alcohol increases your chances of osteoporosis.
  • Your body needs vitamin D to help absorb calcium.  Foods like tuna and egg yolks and getting a certain amount of direct sunlight helps increase your intake of vitamin D.

If you’re concerned about your bones or any risk factors, get in touch with your doctor today.  They’ll perform a bone density test which will determine if you have any bone loss. Your doctor will assess your future risks and recommend medications to help with bone health.

LA Medical hopes you’ve learned a little more about how you can improve your bone health and to celebrate Bone and Joint Health National Awareness Week. If you need help getting around your home, take a look at our mobility scooters and walking aids.

Colder Weather vs. Arthritis

Posted on: November 27th, 2012 by LAMedicalBlogger

Have you ever known someone who says they can predict bad weather coming on because their knees or other joints hurt? While it may be hard to believe that joint pain can be a predictor of colder or inclement weather, many people who suffer from arthritis or osteoarthritis report more pain in their joints when the temperature drops.

The colder weather and drop in atmospheric pressure can make pain from arthritis and other conditions worse.

While the winters are never really that cold here in southern California, temperature may not have anything to do with the increase in pain and discomfort. Rather, it has more to do with the barometric pressure in the atmosphere that accompanies a front of colder weather. In a few studies, patients put in pressure chambers with lower barometric pressure felt more aches in pains.

So, if you or a loved one suffers from achy joints because of arthritis or osteoarthritis, there are a few things you can do to help relieve the pain this late fall and winter from the lower temperatures and pressure.

The first is to obviously dress warmly. Even in the relatively warm Los Angeles winters, the cold can still creep up on you during a day out. Dress in layers that are easy to take off or put on. Remember: it’s better to have too many clothes than not enough. Staying physically active indoors also helps. You can do yoga or other simple home workouts, or try walking around the nearest mall a couple of times.

Warm water can be your best friend as well. Swimming in a heated pool or soaking in a hot bath keeps your joints and muscles relaxed. A little extra vitamin D can go a long way, too. Since vitamin D is created by our bodies when we are in the sunlight, we can be lacking during the fall and winter. A vitamin D supplement helps bones to absorb calcium, decreasing the amount of pain caused by the many forms of arthritis.

If the pain is bad enough, you may need a mobility device to help you get around. LA Medical provides canes, rollators, walkers, wheelchairs and power mobility products for those that need them. We hope you stay safe and mobile as the temperature drops, so contact us if you have a need for a mobility device!