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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.

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!