Seniors with Arthritis- A Bigger Picture
Seniors with Arthritis
In the United States, a substantial number of people have arthritis. It is anticipated that 67 million persons will have been given an arthritis diagnosis by 2025. Although there is no known treatment for this illness, it can undoubtedly be managed.
Many patients have been able to control their treatments as they have evolved through time properly. However, making your house more accommodating for people with arthritis is essential, in addition to taking medicine. Here are some tips for older adults with arthritis about home safety.
What is Arthritis?
Inflammation and stiffness in the joints, especially in the arms and legs, are symptoms of arthritis. It can happen at any stage of life, but it affects seniors more severely. Infections, injuries, or the wear and strain of an active life can all be brought on by arthritis. Rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis are the two main forms.
When cartilage in joints degrades, allowing for bone-on-bone contact during motion, osteoarthritis develops. As a result, the entire joint is impacted by the most prevalent kind of arthritis.
When the immune system assaults the lining of the joints, rheumatoid arthritis develops (synovial membrane). The swelling of joint linings can harm bone and cartilage.
Seniors with arthritis are far more likely to fall. One of the biggest reasons seniors need to leave their homes is the risk of falling. A key component of preventing falls and reducing possibly fatal injuries is managing arthritis.
What Causes Arthritis?
There are several causes of different forms of arthritis. For instance, having too much uric acid in your body might cause gout. However, the precise etiology of various forms of arthritis is not understood. It’s possible to get arthritis if you:
- Have a family history of arthritis.
- Have a profession or participate in an activity that repeatedly strains your joints
- have specific viral infections or autoimmune disorders.
Symptoms of Arthritis
Arthritis symptoms don’t emerge from anywhere. Before things worsen, you might not notice the stiffness or pains that develop slowly. You could encounter:
- Pain when standing, bending
- Redness around a joint
- Sensations of grinding or crunching when you move the joint
- Swollen Joint
- Tenderness of joints
Body awareness is crucial. You might notice little changes if you care for someone else or have access to home health help services like those provided by Safe Hands Healthcare System. A major contributing cause to falls in the elderly is declining to function.
How is Arthritis Diagnosed?
Consult your healthcare professional if you believe you may have arthritis. Your symptoms will be elicited, and the doctor will determine how joint discomfort impacts your daily activities. Your doctor will do a physical examination that might include:
- Evaluate your joints’ flexibility and range of motion.
- Examine your joints’ surrounding regions for any soreness or edema.
- Assessing your general health to see whether your symptoms might come from another condition.
How is Arthritis Treated?
Although there is no known therapy for arthritis, there are methods you may do to control your symptoms. Of course, the severity of arthritis, its symptoms, and your general health will all affect your therapy options. Among the conservative (nonsurgical) remedies are:
- Medication: Painkillers and anti-inflammatory drugs may assist with arthritic symptoms. Biologic drugs work to reduce inflammation caused by your immune system. According to a healthcare professional, your rheumatoid or psoriatic arthritis may be treated with biologics.
- Physical therapy: Rehabilitation can increase mobility, strength, and range of motion. You can learn from therapists how to modify your regular routines to reduce arthritis discomfort.
- Injections for medical purposes: Cortisone shots may temporarily relieve joint pain and inflammation. Visco-supplementation is a therapy that may help with arthritis in some joints, including your knee. It injects lubrication to facilitate easy joint movement.
What’s the Outlook for Someone Living with Arthritis?
Most individuals must live with arthritis for the rest of their lives because there is no known treatment. Your healthcare professional can assist you in identifying the best therapy options to lessen symptoms. Inactivity is one of the main health dangers linked to arthritis. You have a higher chance of developing cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and other dangerous problems if you stop moving about because of joint discomfort.
Make the Floors Arthritis-Friendly
Adults who have arthritis are more likely to trip and fall. Tiredness, joint discomfort, diminished muscular strength, and postural instability is contributing factors. If your present flooring is slick, think about installing appropriate flooring. In addition, you should think about whether the flooring will provide a non-slip surface when they are wet while making your selection.
Is it simple to maneuver on the floor with a wheelchair or cane? In the case of a fall, is there any padding or shock absorption on the floor? Given this, you ought to be able to choose to floor for your loved one that is both comfortable and secure.
Make Arthritis Patients’ Manual Labor Easy
Utilize equipment to restrict the senior’s movement. Just a few examples are automated toilet bowl cleaners, vacuum cleaners, electric mixers, and can openers. Invest in additional tools on the market to keep your loved ones from bending, stooping, or reaching.
Make Stairs and Hallways Arthritis-Friendly
Installing a ramp or lift within the home is advised for older citizens whose knees and hips are severely damaged. However, if this is not possible, there are many other ways to increase a senior’s safety while receiving home health care. For example, anti-slip mats on the stairway and corridor help prevent accidents.
To prevent accidents, hallways and stairwells should be well-lit and clutter-free. Throw rugs should be avoided, and fixed carpets should be installed to prevent slips and falls. In addition, the stairwells should be equipped with guard rails so that older people may support themselves while going up and down the stairs. Seniors should be advised to utilize walking sticks or the rails provided to support themselves when climbing and descending the steps.
Make the Kitchen with Easy Access to Arthritis Patients
The process of preparing food can be challenging for those with arthritis. However, there are several ways to make the kitchen in your home secure and welcoming for senior citizens. Making the switch to lighter cooking equipment is the first step.
Keep the items you use regularly close to your hand or on the counter to minimize pain-causing straining or bending. These changes will go a long way toward helping older adults age in peace.
How to Prevent Arthritis
Even while certain varieties of arthritis cannot be avoided, many types can be reduced or delayed by adopting specific lifestyle modifications. The following are some of the greatest practices for maintaining healthy joints and avoiding degenerative arthritis:
Boost and protect your immune system
A strong immune system aids the body in warding off illness and infections. For example, inflammatory arthritis, such as psoriatic arthritis, and autoimmune arthritis, such as rheumatoid arthritis, which happens when the body’s immune system accidentally targets the joints and causes them to become inflamed, may be prevented by having a stronger immune system. Additionally, a strong immune system might lessen the signs of infectious arthritis brought on by a virus, bacteria, or fungus.
Maintain a healthy weight
Particularly weight-bearing joints like the knees and hips are stressed by excessive fat. In the body’s most active joints, osteoarthritis might flare up if you are overweight or obese.
Do not smoke
According to research, smoking increases a person’s likelihood of acquiring rheumatoid arthritis and may exacerbate symptoms. Smoking also reduces immunity levels in the body and makes it more difficult to maintain an active lifestyle.
Avoid injuries to joints, ligaments, and cartilage
Athletes who participate in high-impact sports like basketball and jogging are more prone to hand, ankle, and knee injuries that can result in osteoarthritis.
Ease up on repetitive movements
The cartilage cushion joints in the body can become worn down by repeated actions, such as running, leaping, lifting, bending, and kneeling. Therefore, osteoarthritis issues can be reduced by taking care to minimize continuous repetitive activities.
Living with Arthritis
Our elderly family members must always be kept secure, especially if they have arthritis. The recommendations above will go a long way toward making their home more comfortable and secure. In addition, safe Hands can help you with arthritis if you or a loved one is considering moving into an assisted living facility. Our team of medical professionals is qualified to assist people living with arthritis by treating their pain and conducting treatment sessions in the convenience of their apartment residences. Call us right now to arrange a visit!
For more assistance and services visit: www.SafeHandsHHC.com