With nearly 50% of people diagnosed with arthritis being 65 years or older, the condition is an increasing pain point amongst the demographic. If you are the caregiver of a senior managing arthritis, you may be looking for ways to reduce their symptoms or alleviate pain.
The Pavilion Senior Living would like to share a few tips on how to manage arthritis and ease the discomforting symptoms brought on by the condition. Before starting a new management routine, check with a healthcare professional to ensure these methods are right for your loved one.
Tip #1: Exercise and Stretching
Exercise and stretching are great ways to manage the effects of arthritis, especially if the affected joints are the knees, hips, or feet. For a senior with arthritis, physical activity shouldn’t be too strenuous or weight-bearing, such as running, as they can cause more harm than good. Low impact exercises, such as water aerobics, biking, or elliptical machines, are great for the body and don’t put a lot of stress on joints.
While many people don’t think about stretching as an exercise, it does increase your heart rate and, when done correctly, can improve the joint’s flexibility and decrease pain in the long run.
Tip #2: Hot and Cold Therapy
Hot and cold therapy is one of the easiest ways to help manage arthritis pain, as it can be as simple as taking an extended hot shower or bath. Heat is used to ease the stiffness of joints and make them more flexible and loose.
The cold side of this therapy is about reducing inflammation and relieving joint pain. If your loved one’s joints are inflamed, an ice pack can be wrapped around the affected joint to provide quick relief and reduce inflammation.
Tip #3: Meditation
While meditation likely wasn't your go-to thought when considering ways to manage arthritis, recent studies have shown otherwise. The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health shares that, of four studies conducted among those dealing with rheumatoid arthritis, all of them found evidence of some improvement of pain or coping with the condition itself.
Tip #4: Diet Changes
Adjusting your loved one’s diet to incorporate omega-3 fatty acids can assist in alleviating arthritis pain. Common in fish, omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to reduce joint pain and stiffness. Omega-3 fatty acids have also been known to reduce the risk of heart disease and improve eye health.
Tip #5: Rehabilitation Services
If your loved one has tried these or other solutions without success, another option could be to utilize rehabilitation services. Rehab services can provide your loved one with care from healthcare professionals who know how to effectively manage arthritis and help reduce the symptoms of the condition.
Many seniors struggle with managing the pain and symptoms of arthritis. When the symptoms become too severe, or your loved one experiences weakness or physical decline due to them, The Pavilion Senior Living’s rehab services can offer comfort and pain management, as well as provide you with some much-needed respite from caregiving responsibilities.