What if I told you that there was a 33% chance that you were going to have trouble moving your hands, legs, feet, arms or hips in the next 20 years? What if I increased those odds to 50%? Wouldn’t you want to do something about it NOW? Sadly, those figures are true and they relate to arthritis. Arthritis affects 15% of the Canadian population.
As we age, those numbers increase considerably. Women over the age of 65 are more likely to suffer from arthritis 50% of the time. Men are less likely to have arthritis, but the numbers still come in at 33%. Nearly half the people you know will be suffering from arthritis after their 65th birthday.
To be clear, arthritis comes in many different forms; it is not one simple condition, but a multitude of them. It can always be characterized by stiffness, pain, and swelling of the joints. The most common forms of arthritis are osteoarthritis (the breakdown of cartilage) and rheumatoid arthritis (destruction of bone lining). All forms of arthritis will cause constant pain and will interfere in the basic functions of life. Everyone should be concerned about arthritis; this is especially true if you are caring for an elderly family member.
How to Identify Arthritis?
Obviously, only a doctor can diagnose and treat arthritis, but it is good to watch out for the signs in the elderly. These signs can include:
- Pain and stiffness in joints
- Stiffness and difficulty moving in the morning or after sitting down
- Swelling and redness in the joints
- Intense warm feeling in the joints
- Loss of movement and range of motion
- Bone Deformity
- Constant discomfort or pain even while resting
How to Treat Arthritis?
Depending on the severity and type, arthritis can be treated using different methods. More severe cases may require special medication or, in bad cases, surgery. Pain caused by arthritis can often be treated with pain-killers and anti-inflammatory medication that can be purchased without a prescription. Other remedies can include:
- Exercise (check with a physician first!)
- Therapy (physical & hydro)
- Weight Loss
- Relaxation Techniques
With any home remedy, always check with a doctor first.
At iCare Home Health Services, our team of home healthcare providers is well versed and experienced in the care of elderly patients suffering from arthritis in addition to other age related issues like dementia. We will provide your loved one with the best care possible with our Nurse at Home, Friend at Home, and Personal Support at Home services. Contact us today to talk more about care for those suffering from arthritis and all of your home healthcare needs.