Understanding arthritis in the elderly community

May, 2013

By having a good understanding of arthritis and the problems it causes you’ll be better placed to care for elderly people suffering with arthritis whether that be now or later down the line. Read on for some elderly care information about living with arthritis and tips to help…

What is it?

Arthritis is painful inflammation of the joints caused by the wearing away of surface cartilage covering the bone. Small pieces of bone may eventually break away and float freely in the joint causing greater pain and inflammation.

Elderly care advice and tips for arthritis!

  • Be a doctor buddy – It’s vital for a doctor to diagnose and be involved in your treatment. By accompanying them to their GP you’ll have a full understanding of their specific case and what care is recommended.

  • Monitor medication – Now you’ve been to the doctors you know what medication they are receiving. If the patient has arthritis in their hands go with them to the pharmacy, explain that they will be unable to open child resistant caps and ask for an alternative.

  • Use painkillers if needed – With the doctors permission you may also administer painkillers to help manage the pain.

  • Discourage heavy lifting and labour – Many elderly patients do not associate the connection between heavy labour and lifting with the onset of arthritis, instead believing it’s simply a sign of old age. Make it clear the continuation of heavy lifting and extensive physical activity will only make the pain worse and will cause more problems in the long run.

  • Instead encourage slow, fluid motions – slow, smooth, easy motions are the best way to avoid unnecessary joint pain and inflammation.

  • Make rest mandatory – On days when the arthritis is playing up or hurting more than usual, treat this as a rest day; frequent rest periods throughout the day may help prevent arthritis from flaring up.

Make sure you join us tomorrow as we continue our information for elderly carers on living with arthritis…

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