How to Help Seniors with Arthritis as a Caregiver
Advances in healthcare and increases in standards of living have done wonders for our lifespans. We can observe the progress we've made in the tendency of each generation to live about three years longer than the one that came before it, a trend which is projected to continue for at least several more generations.
Though the prospect of increasing lifespans is excellent news, it comes with its own set of challenges. As arthritis is one of the most common issues affecting seniors as they age, learning to help seniors with arthritis is often an important topic if you're considering what it will be like to care for your parents as they age.
Ways that Caregivers Can Help Seniors with Arthritis
According to the CDC, nearly 50% of Americans over the age of 65 have been diagnosed with a form of arthritis at some point in their lives.
The most common type, osteoarthritis, is simply caused by wear-and-tear on the joints over time. It tends to be a common effect of aging, and there are limited ways to prevent osteoarthritis. Even otherwise healthy seniors will often develop it.
While cases vary in intensity, even mild symptoms can interfere in a person's quality of life. In severe enough cases, it can be almost impossible for arthritis sufferers to live independently.
Because arthritis is so common, it is important that caregivers take steps to help seniors live with the condition.
Some simple ways caretakers can help include the following.
1. Assisting with Household Chores
Tasks like cleaning, scrubbing, and household repairs will be some of the first things that a person with arthritis will struggle with.
Helping out with these basic chores will help prevent a loved one from hurting themselves doing their day-to-day routines. Not to mention that keeping a clean house is essential in one's overall health.
2. Make a Living Space a Safe, Arthritis-Friendly Environment
On the topic of keeping a healthy house, there are certain home improvements that can be made to make the home safer for a senior with arthritis.
Seniors with arthritis are at an increased risk of suffering a fall. Minimizing that danger should be a priority.
Keeping the floors clean and free of tripping or slipping hazards, making sure that there is ample lighting, and minimizing the number of essential items kept on high shelves are all good ways to start.
3. Encourage Seniors to Stay Active
Although it sounds counter-intuitive, staying active is one of the best ways to prevent arthritis from worsening.
Simple activities like swimming or walking can help keep joints moving while strengthening the surrounding muscles. Range-of-motion, strength, and endurance exercises can also help mitigate arthritis symptoms.
Just always remember to confer with a professional before starting a senior on an exercise plan.
Is It Time to Seek Professional Help?
While there is no cure for arthritis, it can be managed with proper treatment, and many arthritis patients live happy, fulfilling lives.
However, as our loved ones age, managing all of the challenges that come with home care can become unfeasible.
Arthritis is one of the most common challenges that come with age. To help seniors with arthritis live independently, it is sometimes necessary to enlist professional help.
If you think you may be in that situation but aren't sure if it's the right solution for you, contact us today for more information.