Helping your elderly parent manage arthritis while living at home

It can be hard for those who don’t suffer from arthritis to understand the pain that arthritis can cause. Severe arthritis can have near debilitating effects. Gaining a greater understanding of arthritis and the pain associated with it can better prepare you to care for an elderly parent with arthritis.

What is arthritis?

Arthritis is an inflammation of the joints, which is caused by the wearing away of surface cartilage that covers bone. After time, small bone pieces can break away, floating freely in the joint and causing more pain and inflammation. Eventually, bone spurs may develop at the ends of the creating more pain and inflammation.

How to help an elderly parent with arthritis

An article at Yahoo Voices offers a comprehensive list of ways to help. First, it’s important to see a doctor and have arthritis diagnosed. Once arthritis has been determined, here are some further steps you can take to help your elderly parent:

Discourage heavy labor and lifting

When an elderly person has been self-sufficient their entire lives, it may be hard to convince them that lifting heavy objects is contributing to their arthritis and subsequently causing them more pain. Help with any furniture rearranging that your elderly parent may need done. Put coasters beneath furniture so it can be slid rather than lifted to move.

Encourage slow, fluid motions

Exercise is still important for us as we age. Rather than vigorous exercise, encourage low impact exercises that cause less wear on joints.

Make rest for the elderly with arthritis mandatory

Resting can be crucial on days when arthritis is flaring up, but adequate rest can also prevent arthritis flare-ups.

Try cold packs for pain relief

Many doctors will recommend cold packs to help numb pain and manage arthritis. Keep several re-freezable cold packs stocked in the freezer for arthritis management. Keep in mind to keep a towel between the pack and skin

Changes in home

Several adjustments can be made to make living at home with arthritis more manageable. Something as simple as providing an electric can opener can make a big difference for the person with arthritis. Provide a tool for opening twist top jars, as well. Also, make opening packages easier by making sure that scissors and letter openers are at hand. Observe the arthritic person in their home, to note items that they use regularly but have to bend and stoop to get. Moving these for easier access is also another way to help.

Encompass can help

Encompass Senior Solutions currently serving Omaha, Eastern Nebraska and Western Iowa provides seniors and their families a complete understanding of the options with facing an elderly person living with debilitating arthritis. Our professional staff can help properly implement the necessary lifestyle changes that will ensure the best quality of life for your aging parent.

All Encompass services are directed by registered nurses or licensed clinical social workers with no long-term contracts.

Contact us today.

“Encompass Senior Solutions solves the problems families face in finding home health care providers they can trust. Providers who will focus on strategies that keep parents in their homes. To learn more about our health care services, visit http://www.encompass-home-health-care.com.”