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5 Ways to Help Older Adults Manage Arthritis Symptoms

By , 9:00 am on

Arthritis is a type of joint inflammation that occurs most often in old age. The disease can be caused by the deterioration of the cartilage in joints or by the immune system mistakenly attacking joint tissue. All types of arthritis are fairly painful, and they can also cause other symptoms like stiff or weakened joints. If your senior loved one has arthritis, use the following methods to reduce the severity of symptoms. 

1. Look for Doctor-Approved Painkillers 

Arthritis pain can often be distracting and debilitating, but there are many types of medication that can halt pain, including acetaminophen, NSAIDs, and narcotic painkillers. Some of these medications need to be prescribed by a doctor, while others may not be advisable for long-term usage. There are also alternative medications like menthol and capsaicin creams that may reduce pain when rubbed on the affected area. These creams work by confusing pain signals from the joint to the brain.

Seniors can face a variety of challenges as they age, many of which can be mitigated with the help of professional in-home caregivers who provide high-quality home care. Scottsdale families trust in Home Care Assistance to help their elderly loved ones age in place safely and comfortably.  

2. Encourage Exercise 

A proper exercise regimen can build muscles around the joints and protect them from further damage. Engaging in regular exercise can also boost joint function. Gentle stretching exercises like yoga and tai chi may be particularly helpful for older adults with arthritis. 

Aging adults who need help exercising should consider professional in-home care. Scottsdale elderly care experts are available to provide high-quality care to seniors on an as-needed basis. From assistance with mobility and exercise to providing transportation to the doctor’s office and social events, there are a variety of ways professional caregivers can help your aging loved one continue to live independently. 

3. Use Anti-Inflammatory Medications 

Anti-inflammatory medications are helpful for certain types of arthritis because they keep inflammation from causing swelling and damage in the affected area. Talk to your loved one’s doctor about trying biological response modifiers, disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs, corticosteroids, and other inflammation suppressants. 

4. Employ Assistive Devices 

There are many devices that assist seniors with arthritis, including canes, raised toilets, walk-in baths, walkers, and braces. In addition to providing more mobility, these devices also take stress off the joints and keep arthritis from worsening. Making some changes around the house and installing assistive devices can greatly reduce the inconvenience of arthritis. 

5. Consider Arthritis Surgery 

If mild treatments are not effective, it may be time to talk to the doctor about surgeries. There are many potential surgeries that can help seniors with arthritis, such as surgeries to smooth a roughened joint surface. Though the thought of surgery might be intimidating, many seniors with arthritis regain joint function and have far less pain once the surgery is over.

Caring for older adults with serious health issues can be a challenging task. Families who find it difficult to care for their aging loved ones without assistance can benefit greatly from professional respite care. Scottsdale, AZ, family caregivers who need a break from their caregiving duties can turn to Home Care Assistance. Using our proprietary Balanced Care Method, our respite caregivers can encourage your loved one to eat well, exercise regularly, get plenty of mental and social stimulation, and focus on other lifestyle factors that promote longevity. Call us at 480.448.6215 to schedule a free in-home consultation.