According to Harvard Medical School, everyone has about a 50 percent chance of developing osteoarthritis at some point in their life. This means that many older adults have a painful joint condition. Unfortunately, osteoarthritis, or OA, can result in your aging relative being unable to do some of the things they enjoy. If your older family member suffers from OA, there are things they can do at home to ease the pain and cope with the condition, such as these things below.
It may seem counterproductive to move painful joints more, but it really does help. Multiple studies indicate that people who have OA enjoy a better quality of life when they exercise regularly. Seniors who exercise have more energy, stronger muscles, and more flexibility in their joints. In addition, exercise helps with weight loss. Losing weight reduces stress on the joints, making them hurt less.
A home care provider can assist your loved one to be more active by going for walks with them and involving them in activities at home. In addition, a home care provider can watch over the seniors while they exercise at home, which can make them feel safer and encourage them to exercise more.
If the older adult isn’t sleeping well at night, they may feel more tired and their joints may be even more painful. One way to improve sleep is to make the bedroom a more peaceful place. Make sure the room is clean and clutter is minimized. The temperature of the room should be set to a cool enough temperature to promote sleep and all electronic devices should be removed from the room or at least turned off.
Home care providers can assist with keeping the older adult’s room tidy and the sheets fresh to promote better sleep.
When arthritic joints are gently rubbed, it helps to improve blood flow to the joint. This can help to reduce pain.
Your older family member’s home care provider can offer gentle massage of a painful limb or joint. However, if the joint is extremely sensitive, it may be wise to see a doctor for a referral to a licensed massage therapist who specializes in treating people suffering from arthritis pain.
There are many nutrients that studies indicate may help with arthritis pain, such as vitamin C and omega-3 fatty acids. However, experts recommend eating a well-rounded diet rather than focusing on just a few nutrients.
A home care provider can prepare healthy, balanced meals for your aging relative, ensuring they eat well to support their joints and overall health.