According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as many as 52.5 million adults in the U.S. have been diagnosed with arthritis or a similar chronic pain disease. As we get older, our joints and bones become more susceptible to these types of health conditions and they can have a big impact on our quality of life. Here are a few tips to help your loved ones manage the pain associated with arthritis:
Lend a hand:
There are many things your loved one may struggle with, like putting groceries into a basket or using a vacuum cleaner.
Offer to help them grocery shop once a week or consider using home-delivered grocery services. Meals on wheels can also be a possible solution if cooking is becoming too difficult.
Offer help with home cleaning or help them to explore home care service agencies that provide help with vacuuming and other home management tasks.
Although it may seem counterintuitive, exercising can be a very good thing for arthritis sufferers. When you move about, it loosens your muscles and lubricates your joints which can do wonders for easing pain. Your loved one may be hesitant to exercise because they are concerned about pain, but you can be at their side to be sure they don’t fall or have any other issues.
Talk with their doctor about the range of motion exercises that might be good to help their arthritis issues, or ask if they may qualify for outpatient therapy at home which Medicare may cover.
Monitor their medications:
If your loved one resides at home alone, check in with them to be sure they’re taking the medications as prescribed by their doctor. If the pain is too great, be sure they’re not overmedicating which can put them at risk for falls and other adverse health events.
Arthritis may cause pain and limitations to hand dexterity. If your loved one has difficulty opening bottles or retrieving the pills, find out if their pharmacy offers bubble packing for easy access. Or, ask their doctor if they can be referred to a home health agency. Home health agencies can offer support from a registered nurse, or “RN” to help them right at home by putting the medications into a planner.
Help them explore outpatient therapy:
Pain can make us move differently, or less. Pay close attention to how your loved one is moving. If they’re using objects around the house to brace themselves to transfer out of chairs, or if they’re grabbing onto things to brace themselves as they walk, physical and occupational therapy could help. Ask their doctor for a referral.
Physical and occupational therapies can help them adjust the way they move to avoid or reduce pain. Therapy can also help them evaluate what durable medical equipment could help them too. Walkers or canes may help them in moving about, making them safer and potentially reducing pain. Therapy can also recommend helpful gadgets like grabber sticks, hand-held showers, or sock aides to help them regain independence in completing important tasks.
Lastly, outpatient therapy could help their condition improve reducing your loved one’s need for outside assistance once they regain their capabilities.
If you’re interested in how home health or outpatient therapy could benefit your loved one to manage their arthritis pain at home, reach out to us at CaringEdge! Email us at info@CaringEdge.com, or call us at 1.877.651.5839.