What Are the Best Ways to Help Your Elderly Loved One Manage Osteoarthritis?

Posted: 9/2/2016 6:34 PM by Interim HealthCare
Osteoarthritis is a type of arthritis that can show up gradually for your loved one. Once it sets in, there is no cure but it can be effectively managed in many instances.

Keep up with Doctor's Appointments
Your loved one's doctor is the first line of defense in managing osteoarthritis effectively. He or she can spot problems with joints that are causing more pain and they can recommend different treatment methods. As medication needs adjustment, your loved one may have more frequent appointments until he or she is at the right level. Keeping up with these appointments can help the doctor find the exact regimen that works best.

Start an Exercise Plan
While you're working with your loved one's doctor, ask about an exercise plan. He or she may recommend physical therapy or simply a general exercise plan. Exercise does so many things for your an elderly individual. First, it helps to strengthen the muscles around problem joints to help support them, but it also helps those joints to get and to stay more flexible. Elderly individuals might even lose a little bit of weight as a result of exercising more often, which can help to take a load off some joints, particularly hips and knees.

Use Heat and Cold
Heating pads and ice packs can be your loved one's best friend when osteoarthritis pain is flaring up. Alternate heat and cold as the doctor recommends for the best results. Your loved one may need these types of treatments daily or on an as needed basis when his or her joints are more painful than usual. Soaking in a warm tub can also be helpful.

Look for Assistive Devices
Anything that helps your loved one's life to be a little bit easier is a good thing. Look for items that can make dealing with arthritis pain easier. This can mean switching door knobs out for levered knobs, raising the toilet seat, or even using a grabber to help the older individual keep a grip on something. Work with your loved one to figure out where he or she has the most trouble so that you can find the right assistive devices for each issue.

Your loved one's senior care providers can also offer tips that can help manage osteoarthritis more effectively.  If you have an aging loved one in need of elderly care contact Interim HealthCare today.