Arthritis affects seniors differently, and there is no single treatment that will provide complete relief from pain, inflammation and stiffness. If you are a family caregiver that is suddenly responsible for the senior care plan for an aging relative, you may not be familiar with all there is to arthritis or managing pain.
Arthritis is a condition where the joints are no longer working as smoothly as they once did. Most sufferers experience arthritis in the hands, feet, knees, hips and back. Typical symptoms include stiffness, swelling, pain, redness, and difficulty moving the affected joints. These symptoms can range from mild irritation that slows them down a little to severe pain that affects their daily life.
Always make sure your senior loved one is seeing a doctor regularly for their arthritis treatment so they don’t have to live in pain. Doctors can recommend some over the counter medication for your aging relative, such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen. They may also prescribe something stronger if the senior’s pain levels are higher than average. Medication is one of the best ways to deal with arthritis pain, but there are other treatments that you can do at home to further ease those aching joints.
When it comes to living with arthritis, most seniors experience the worst pain and stiffness in the mornings. That’s because their bodies have been inactive for a long period of time. Seniors may also feel the stiffest when they have been sitting for long periods of time. It’s easy to see the connection between activity and arthritis pain—the more active the elderly person is, the less pain and swelling they notice. Even simple activities like walking or yoga can keep those joints and muscles looser. Massages and physical therapy can also provide relief to sore areas.
Other treatments that you can help your elderly relative do at home include hot and cold remedies. Heat helps to reduce stiffness and makes the joints feel better. Heating pads, hot water bottles, sauna, warm baths or showers, and paraffin wax treatments are all very popular with arthritis sufferers to reduce their pain. When heat doesn’t bring relief, you can try cold packs. This is especially helpful for seniors with lots of swelling in their joints. However, don’t do the cold pack treatment for longer than 20 minutes and always place a towel between the pack and the elderly person’s skin.
All in all, arthritis is a chronic condition that cannot be cured. However, it’s possible to manage the pain so that it doesn’t hinder your elderly relative from doing everything they want to do. If your loved one is struggling with arthritis or they have recently been diagnosed, they will depend on you to assist them with pain relief. The more you know about the causes and treatments for arthritis, the more helpful you will be in providing senior care for their pain relief.
If you or an aging loved one are considering Senior Care Services in Gig Harbor WA, contact the caring staff at Hospitality Home Care today. Call us at (206) 966-6552.