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How to Help Older Adults Manage Arthritis Pain

By , 9:00 am on

Arthritis is a common condition among seniors. Older adults need to find sustainable treatment methods because the conditions leading to arthritis aren’t curable. There are several ways to mitigate the pain associated with joint inflammation. Seniors and their caregivers should experiment with different options to relieve pain until they find one that works. Here are a few ways you can help your loved one manage arthritis.

Provide Warm Water Therapy

Warm water therapy has been used for centuries to relieve muscle and joint pain. Soaking in a warm bath can ease muscle tension, relax the joints, reduce chronic pain, boost circulation, and decrease swelling. The soothing effects extend beyond the time spent in the tub. Most doctors recommend seniors take baths that are warm, rather than hot, for a duration of 20 minutes. 

Adults living with arthritis often have difficulty performing the tasks of daily living. If your aging loved one needs occasional help with bathing, grooming, cooking, or other basic household tasks, or if you need time to attend to important personal matters, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of live-in and respite care. Allen seniors can maintain their independence while living at home with the help of our reliable respite caregivers.

Suggest Topical Medications

Not all arthritis medications are oral. Some topical creams supply sodium channel blockers, which effectively numb the nerve endings located right beneath the skin. Other topical options are NSAIDs, which work by decreasing the inflammatory proteins that cause joint swelling. The topical creams only work for a few hours, so they need to be reapplied consistently to remain effective. Topical creams are a great solution for seniors who don’t want to become reliant on oral anti-inflammatory medications. 

Recommend Appropriate Footwear

To manage arthritis symptoms, seniors should try to reduce the amount of force exerted on the joints. Comfortable, supportive footwear is one of the best ways of reducing stress on joints. Seniors with arthritis should wear flexible, flat shoes with closed toes and plenty of arch support. The shoes should be a perfect fit, as footwear that pinches or slides can redirect pressure to the knees or hips. You can help by making sure your loved one has enough pairs of doctor-approved shoes. If not, take your loved one to buy shoes that won’t exacerbate his or her arthritis. Specially designed orthopedic shoes are a good option for seniors who have chronic pain in the knees. 

Caring for an older adult with arthritis can be challenging. Families who need help caring for a senior loved one can turn to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of Allen home care. Services available in our customizable care plans include meal prep, mental and social stimulation, assistance with personal hygiene tasks, and much more.

Promote Exercise

Exercise is one of the best ways to reduce painful joint inflammation. Seniors with arthritis may be resistant to physical activity, but they should try to find a sustainable workout regimen. Many seniors with joint pain opt for water exercise, as it takes the pressure off the joints without reducing the quality of the exercise. Water aerobics and swimming are both recommended for seniors with arthritis. 

Advise the Use of Injections 

Some seniors choose to have regular injections to reduce joint inflammation. Steroid injections are popular, as they directly target the source of the inflammation and can relieve pain for months at a time. Hyaluronic acid injections are another option that enhances the health of damaged cartilage, which in turn reduces inflammation. 

Encourage Following an Anti-Inflammatory Diet 

An anti-inflammatory diet should be high in omega-3 fatty acids, which are present in salmon and other fish. Other dietary essentials include antioxidant-rich berries, leafy greens like spinach and kale, and healthy nuts like almonds.

If your senior loved one needs help managing an illness or assistance with daily tasks, make sure you choose a top-rated provider of senior home care. Allen Home Care Assistance is here to help your loved one live a happier and healthier life in the golden years. From the mentally stimulating activities in our Cognitive Therapeutics Method to our friendly Care Managers who are available to answer your questions 24 hours a day, we offer a wide array of high-quality at-home care services. Call us at (972) 548-0392 to schedule a free in-home consultation.

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