How to Treat Arthritis in Aging Adults

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Arthritis affects nearly half of the senior population in the United States. The good news when it comes to senior arthritis is that treatment has advanced to the point where pain associated with joint inflammation can often be successfully managed without the need for surgical intervention. The following are a few ways family caregivers can help their senior loved ones better manage the pain and discomfort associated with arthritis. 

Rest & Effective Sleep 

Getting a good night’s sleep—meaning uninterrupted—may reduce arthritis pain aggravated by overexertion and fatigue. For seniors having difficulty sleeping due to recurring pain, timing medications to coincide with sleep habits may help. 

Living with arthritis can make it challenging for seniors to accomplish certain daily tasks. Aging adults who require assistance with the tasks of daily living can benefit from reliable elderly home care. Families trust Home Care Assistance to provide the high-quality care their elderly loved ones need and deserve. Our caregivers are trained to help seniors prevent serious illnesses and encourage them to make healthier decisions as they age.

Exercise & Physical Therapy

Taking regular walks or joining an aerobics class may actually increase bone and joint strength to the point where discomfort is minimal. For seniors with more severe arthritis, a trained physical therapist can often recommend modified exercises that can be performed in a supervised setting. The following exercises may also be helpful: 

  • Strengthening exercises (to strengthen muscles supporting joints)
  • Range of motion exercises (to increase flexibility)
  • Balance and agility exercises (to reduce the risk of falling)

Aging in place can present a few unique challenges for older adults. Some only require part-time assistance with exercise or meal preparation, while others are living with serious illnesses and benefit more significantly from receiving live-in care. Huntsville, AL, Home Care Assistance are leaders in the elderly in-home care industry for good reason. We tailor our care plans based on each senior’s individual needs, our caregivers continue to receive updated training in senior care as new developments arise, and we also offer comprehensive care for seniors with Alzheimer’s, dementia, and Parkinson’s.

Diet & Weight Loss 

Losing weight can reduce added pressure on joints and muscles. Dietary changes have also been shown to be effective in some seniors with arthritis, since some foods may make inflammation worse. 

Medications 

Certain medications to treat arthritis—especially various NSAIDs—may cause side effects such as stomach bleeding in seniors with a history of ulcers. For this reason, doctors tend to start seniors on milder medications to control pain, like acetaminophen and ibuprofen.

Surgery 

When the above treatments fail to provide relief, surgery may become an option. Arthritis surgery can involve the removal of bone and cartilage that’s placing pressure on joints supporting knees, hips, and elbows or complete joint replacement with an artificial joint. 

Alternative Treatments 

Other alternative treatments family caregivers can discuss with their loved ones’ doctors can include: 

  • Application of heat and cold
  • Nutritional supplements
  • Light massage therapy (since arthritis can increase muscle sensitivity)

Arthritis is just one of the many conditions seniors are susceptible to as they age. Living alone at home in the golden years can present a few unique challenges. Trust Huntsville senior care professionals to help your aging loved one maintain a higher quality of life while he or she manages an illness and performs the daily tasks of living. If your loved one needs professional care, Home Care Assistance is here to help. Call one of our dedicated Care Managers today at (256) 716-9940 to learn about the high quality of our in-home care services.

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