Arthritis Awareness: How to Help Your Aging Parents Prevent Falls and Move More

Having parents who suffer from osteoarthritis can be worrisome for adult children. A large part of arthritis awareness entails safe proofing your parents’ home and encouraging them to get physically active. By becoming more aware of their needs, you can have more peace of mind. Here are some safety guidelines and exercises that are helpful for arthritis patients.fall_prevention

Fall Prevention

Having arthritis can increase the likelihood of falls. That’s why it’s critical that a home is safe. Some of the main rooms that need safe proofing include:

  • Kitchens—All kitchen supplies should be easily accessible as you don’t want your parent to stand on a chair and risk falling.
  • Stress the importance of wiping up kitchen spills immediately after they happen.
  • Bathrooms—Use night lights in bathrooms and install handicap railings in showers or bathtubs. Install handicap railings to prevent falls. Use non-skid mats in showers or bathrooms.
  • Stairways—Install handrails on both sides of a stairway. 

Encourage Exercise 

Too often, people with arthritis are less physically active. However, this actually hurts rather than helps. Therefore, discuss with your parents the types of exercises that are safe, besides improving arthritic pain. In fact, exercise has been proven to improve arthritis by as much as 15 to 30 percent more than just taking medications. Here are some suggestions to boost physical activity in your parent.

  • Get your parents a stationary bike. Stationary cycling is ideal for arthritis as it provides a good cardiovascular workout without putting stress on weight-bear joints. If your parent struggles with balance issues, cycling is exceptionally safe because you don’t have to lean a bike to turn.
  • Enroll your parents in a yoga class. Yoga helps reduce stress because of its relaxation techniques. Just be sure you find your parent a yoga teacher can adjust poses and realizes physical limits from having arthritis.
  • Investigate classes in water aerobics. Water walking, especially fun and is gentle on sensitive joints. As water is buoyant, it’s effective in easing joint pain and stress. What’s more, people can burn more calories walking in water than they can by walking on land.  

Additional Considerations and Warnings 

  • Be sure your parents’ home is equipped with adequate light, particularly in hallways and stairways. They should be able to reach light switches on the tops of bottoms of a stairway, besides access flashlights in a power outage.
  • Check the home for any electrical cords or loose carpeting that could cause falls, besides any low-lying furniture.

Caring for aging parents can be both physically and emotionally tiring. The professionals at Hannah’s Home Care provide home-care help for elderly people, such as daily living activities as bathing, meal preparation, light housekeeping, transportation to medical appointments and other services. If you need help with a loved one, don’t hesitate to contact us.

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