It’s important to understand arthritis in the elderly and what you can do to help them with this often painful, chronic disease.
When we say arthritis, this is often associated with having painful and stiff joints. However, there’s more to arthritis than this. There are different kinds of arthritis. And each have different symptoms, treatment, and management.
Arthritis can attack the joints of almost any part of the body. It can cause pain, swelling, warmth, redness, and other symptoms. It is one of the most common diseases in our country and especially in the elderly.
Let’s take a close look at what arthritis is and what you can do if a family member is suffering from this condition.
Understanding Arthritis in the Elderly
- Osteoarthritis. This is the most common type of arthritis in the elderly population. This is due to the cartilage being ragged and worn over the years. The cartilage is the tissue that pads or cushions the joints. Over time, this gets worn out so the bones tend to rub against each other. This commonly occurs on the hands, neck, lower back, and especially on the knees and hips as they bear the weight of the body.
The symptoms often include stiffness and mild pain when walking, bending, or stooping. For some, it may even cause severe pain even while just resting or in bed. Stiffness of the muscles may also occur when they haven’t been moved in a while.
- Rheumatoid Arthritis. This is an autoimmune disease. By this, it means the body attacks the lining of a joint in a way that they would do so to protect the tissues from injury or disease. This causes inflammation that can then cause swelling, pain, and stiffness.
RA can attack almost any joint in your body. If one joint hurts and the other side does too, then it is most likely RA. Furthermore, this disease doesn’t just only affect the joints. It can also attack the heart, muscles, blood vessels, nervous system, and the eyes.
Symptoms of Arthritis
Symptoms of arthritis in the elderly and even those who are younger who may be affected are:
- lasting joint pain
- swelling of the joints
- stiff joints
- tenderness when touching a joint
- difficulty moving a joint normally
- warm or redness in a joint
Treatment for Arthritis
Different kinds of arthritis may require different treatment and management. It is best to talk to your doctor or specialist on how best to address your condition.
It is also worth noting that exercising can help keep your muscles strong and control your symptoms. Still, it’s best to consult with your doctor before undergoing any exercise regimen.
At Blessed Home, we’re experienced in helping care for elderly with arthritis problems. Our facilities are fully equipped to help them move safely and we have caregivers to assist them. Talk to us to learn more.