Aging can come with aches and pains, especially if your older loved one has arthritis or other joint conditions. But there are many ways you can help them maintain their independence and live more comfortably. By putting emphasis on senior health care, you can assist your older parent, family member, or friend in managing their joint pain and continuing to enjoy the activities they love. Consider these key tips in assisting your loved one in maintaining a more comfortable, enjoyable lifestyle.
Medications. If your relative or friend is prescribed medications, specifically for a joint condition, take special care to ensure they are following the prescription instructions. Taking medications as prescribed can help reduce the pain. If your loved one only takes their medication when they are in pain, they may not be receiving the full effects of the prescription. Rather than taking on an as-needed basis, consider talking to them about taking the medication as directed. Some medicines need to be taken regularly to reduce the burden of pain and avoid exposing your loved one to more discomfort than necessary.
Heat or cold packs. Depending on your loved one’s individual condition, a heat or cold pack may be able to provide a certain level of relief from joint pain. Talk with your loved one and his or her doctor about alternating between heat and cold applications. In many cases, this routine offers more relief and can be better tailored to individual needs.
Modifying activities. When joint pain strikes, your loved one may not be able to do the activities that they want or need to do. You can help provide senior care by assisting them in these activities or by finding ways to modify them. For example, if going up or down stairs has become too difficult, consider looking into stair lift rentals to make moving around the house easier. In other cases, arthritic hands might make it difficult to open door knobs or turn on light switches. There are many great aging-in-place alternatives like lever doorknobs and rocking light switches that can make it simpler to get around the house without overexerting joints.
Diet. For some people, their weight might be worsening their joint conditions. Putting too much pressure on joints makes the body work harder to do simple activities, as extra weight can strain the joints. Consider if your loved one might benefit from a modified diet. Talk with them and their doctor about possible dietary changes your loved one can make to help relieve pressure on their joints and alleviate pain.
Exercise. Like diet, changing an exercise routine should always be done under the care of a physician. In some cases, a physical activity routine might be able to help relieve pain. By building up muscle strength, your loved one may be able to reduce the pressure that is put on their joints. Stronger muscles can better support the body, meaning joints can work more efficiently and with much less stress.
Having joint pain doesn’t mean your older loved one has to stop doing the things they love. While some activities may need to be reduced or modified, there are many ways you can help a family member or friend continue to do their favorite hobbies, maintain their independence, and enjoy a more fulfilling lifestyle.