With arthritis in the elderly being more common, watching your loved ones struggle with arthritis management can be challenging. If you’re looking for ways to ensure they are adequately supported to properly treat the symptoms and manage the functional impairments that come with the condition, we have a few tips that can help.
Understanding Arthritis in the Elderly
Arthritis is a condition that causes inflammation and stiffness in one or more joints. Although it is more common and severe in the elderly, this condition can occur to people at any stage of their life, including children. Its symptoms include tenderness, swelling, and pain around the joint which gradually worsens with time. The two major types are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. For osteoarthritis, it is caused by a breakdown of the cartilage in joints, which results in increased friction between bones during movement. Rheumatoid arthritis on the other hand occurs when your immune system attacks the lining of joints, causing the lining to swell and damage to the cartilage and bone.
Arthritis in Elderly – Assisting Your Loved One
With chronic illness, accepting and adapting to the new lifestyle it ensues proves to be an ongoing trial for everyone in the family. Learning about the type of arthritis your loved one is struggling with and the experience is equally important for all family members to show that he or she is not alone in the battle. Your loved one would be greatly appreciative if everyone at home can help him or her cope with the effects of arthritis through the following methods:
- Assisting with household tasks
- Encouraging a physically and mentally active lifestyle
- Coordinating their medical care or treatment
- Remaining positive and focusing on activities they can still engage in
Arthritis in Elderly – Adapting to a Safe Living Space
Minimizing inconvenience and the risk of injury for your loved one in their personal space is critical to avoid anything drastic from happening. Here is a list of helpful home safety recommendations you can ensure are in place:
- Consider rearranging their home so that everything they need is on one floor
- Use chairs or stools for strenuous tasks such as showering or washing the dishes
- If their daily necessities are on shelves, ensure these items are within easy reach
- Install grab bars, non-slip mats, and handrails in the bathroom and kitchen
- Remove all hazardous items such as sharp objects, loose wires, or piles of belongings
You can also find hundreds of assistive gadgets, devices, and tools at hardware stores or online to help your loved one manage their condition. A few recommendations for homes include:
- Touch-activated light switches that require a gentler touch
- Lightweight appliances such as mops or vacuums for less stress on joints
- Grabber extensions to pick up items of the floor or reach objects on high shelves
Why Choose Rittenhouse At Muhlenberg?
Arthritis can be a tricky disease to manage, and oftentimes individuals struggling with it can feel lonely. At Rittenhouse At Muhlenberg, we offer a safe and supportive environment for individuals who require assistance but still value their independence.
If you have any inquiries about our range of services, don’t hesitate to contact us or call 610.477.3936 today.