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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.

Juvenile Arthritis: Putting Treatment into Action

Posted on: May 30th, 2013 by LAMedicalBlogger

Living with arthritis can be hard at any age, but especially for young people and children. Children with juvenile arthritis will need to learn a language of terms most of their friends and even most adult will never have to learn. Although there is no known cause for the disease and no known cure, there are many treatments available.  Most treatment plans involve a combination of medication, physical activity, eye care and healthy eating. Medications used to treat JA can be divided into two groups:

Treatment for juvenile arthritis

While there is no cure for juvenile arthritis, there are treatments to make things more bearable

  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, or NSAIDs, corticosteroids and analgesics that help relieve pain and inflammation
  • Disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs) and a newer subset known as biologic response modifiers (biologics). These medicines can alter the course of the disease, put it into remission and prevent joint damage.

Having a child with juvenile arthritis will affect your entire family. It’s very important to maintain a sense normalcy. Stay with normal routines for all of the children, allowing for some changes for the child with JA. Remember that how you deal with it determines how they deal with their condition.

Remember that JA is a part of your child’s life and your life; it’s not their whole life.

Children don’t have the language and coping skills that an adult will have, so you will have to help them develop the words and actions to express emotions about having JA.

Juvenile arthritis is a family diagnosis. You will experience many emotions too and that’s okay. You may experience sadness, guilt and anger at the situation. That is natural. Work through those feelings.

If there are other siblings in family, don’t forget that they are kids too. They will have deep feelings and questions, and even fears, too. They have needs and need a parent as much as the child with JA.

As a parent, don’t forget to take care of yourself too. If you’re married, take time away as a couple.

If you are living with arthritis at any age, LA Medical has many solutions available to make life easier and more comfortable. From safety equipment to power wheelchairs, see us first.

 

Sources: pediatriconcall.com, the CDC, the Arthritis Foundation

The Aches and Pains of Juvenile Arthritis

Posted on: May 28th, 2013 by LAMedicalBlogger

The basics of juvenile arthritis

Arthritis is just the aches an stiffness that comes with getting old…right? Wrong. May is National Arthritis Month and a great time to talk about juvenile arthritis or JA.

Juvenile arthritis causes pain

Juvenile arthritis currently has no known cause or cure.

How common is JA? In 2007, the CDC estimated that 294,000 U.S. children under age 18 (or 1 in 250 children) have been diagnosed with arthritis or other rheumatic conditions.

What is arthritis? It’s not just one disease or ailment. Arthritis is a complex family of musculoskeletal disorders consisting of more than 100 different diseases or conditions that destroy joints, bones, muscles, cartilage and other connective tissues, hampering or halting physical movement. This applies to all age groups.

Juvenile arthritis (JA) is an umbrella term used to describe the many autoimmune and inflammatory conditions that can develop in children ages 16 (or 18) and younger.  What causes JA? No known cause has been pinpointed for most forms of juvenile arthritis, nor is there evidence to suggest that toxins, foods or allergies cause children to develop the disease. Some research points toward a genetic predisposition, which means the combination of genes a child receives from family members may cause the onset of arthritis when triggered by other factors.

Did you know that JA numbers differ by state?  Childhood arthritis-related diagnoses range from a low of 500 children in Wyoming to a high of 38,000 children right here in California.

In addition, children diagnosed with arthritis and other rheumatic conditions account for approximately 827,000 doctor visits each year, including an average of 83,000 emergency department room visits.

Arthritis is painful for people of any age, but can be exceptionally hard for kids. If you know a young person with juvenile arthritis who would benefit from home medical equipment, please visit our online store or visit LA Medical’s showroom today.

We’ll talk more about the juvenile arthritis in our next post.

Source: pediatriconcall.com, the CDC, the Arthritis Foundation