Arthritis Awareness: Tips for Easing Pain and Stiffness

Arthritis and other rheumatic diseases affect almost 25 percent of the American population. This percentage is expected to increase as the baby boomers age. One of the reasons seniors cite for being unable to remain in their own home is difficulty doing daily activities due to joint pain. Physical therapy and medications help ease joint pain and stiffness for many sufferers. In addition, consider the following changes you can encourage your loved one to make at home so they can remain in their own house for as long as possible.Arthritis

Exercise

By moving joints regularly they will remain flexible. In many cases people with joint pain don’t want to exercise because they worry it will cause them more discomfort. This is generally not the case however. Engaging in low-impact exercises such as swimming, yoga, pilates or walking can be very helpful.

Dietary Changes

Certain foods are believed to be helpful in reducing inflammation and stiffness in the body. Consider increasing intake of the following items:

Flaxseed
Grape juice
Ginger
Fish
Nuts
Blueberries
Garlic
Celery
Weight Loss

Joint pain is commonly caused by carrying around excessive weight. Although weight loss may seem overwhelming, a small reduction in weight has been shown to cause a significant improvement. Instead of trying to tackle losing a large amount of weight, your loved one should attempt to lose just a few pounds. This may be enough to help hips, knees and other joints. Pain will decrease and mobility will be improved.

Joint pain and stiffness causes a significant decrease in the quality of life. Daily activities are often impacted. Those that can still be undertaken may be less enjoyable due to the discomfort. Making a few small changes at home can make a big difference in decreasing joint pain and stiffness. Your loved one may even find that they are less reliant on medication and physical therapy for relief from discomfort. Attempt a few of the above changes and see what a difference it makes.

If you find your loved one is still having difficulty with daily activities consider contacting Hannah’s Home Care. We provide home health care for seniors who want to remain in their own home but need some support. Contact us to learn more.

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.