Arthritis may be a common problem among older individuals, especially the elderly; however, it does not have to be as taxing on the body as one may think. There are many steps that can be taken to manage arthritis and help alleviate the symptoms.
About 1 in 4 adults in the US are diagnosed with arthritis. As time passes, the numbers will continue to grow. Arthritis is known to cause inflammation, pain, and stiffness in the joints. The symptoms of arthritis can make it difficult to perform everyday tasks and can lead to other troubles.
There are more than one hundred different forms of arthritis and related disease. The most common forms that effect seniors are osteoarthritis (OA), rheumatoid arthritis (RA), and psoriatic arthritis (PSA).
- Osteoarthritis: Osteoarthritis is a degenerative disease that is a result of wear-and-tear on the joints. Osteoarthritis is most commonly found in the knees, hips, hands, and spine.
- Rheumatoid Arthritis: Rheumatoid Arthritis occurs when the body’s immune system attacks the body’s tissues and joints. RA can cause the body’s inflammation response to become overactive, thus triggering more pain in the process. Rheumatoid Arthritis typically affects parallel joints of the body, such as both hands, or knees.
- Psoriatic Arthritis: Psoriatic Arthritis is an autoimmune inflammatory disease similar to RA. Psoriatic Arthritis can impact any joint and causes inflammation as well.
Although living with arthritis can be a struggle, there are ways to manage the symptoms, even for those in senior living facilities.
Tracking symptoms and keeping a log or journal can help identify patterns or causes of flare ups.
Movement and regular exercise can help improve symptoms and alleviate stiffness. “Motion is lotion” is a good rule of thumb.
Diet and nutrition can play a crucial role when it comes to arthritis. Eating a well-balanced diet and avoiding foods that trigger symptoms is important.
Various forms of arthritis are often treatable with medication. A doctor or caregiver can administer these medications.
Taking small steps to manage arthritis plays a huge role in one’s ability to perform daily activities and impacts quality of life. The trained caregivers at FootPrints Home Care are here to help you be the key to living well with this disease. At FootPrints, we take pride in our level of senior home care!