Arthritis Tips

By Ryan Mackey

Few diagnoses can create such a transition from the routine in life, as does arthritis. Activities such as sports, traveling, and driving are often too painful to continue, and realizing the physical limitations can be disappointing. Being a caregiver in times such as this can be a stressful situation, but here are some tips that may allow the caregiver to alleviate a loved one’s emotional and physical pain associated with arthritis. 

  • Become as educated as possible with the conditions of arthritis and be knowledgeable on any new treatment options available.

  • Because arthritis usually affects the hands first, writing may be more difficult for them, but finding the right balance of comfort may only require a small triangle cushion found in many office supply stores.

  • Pill reminders can reduce the stress of taking pain medication throughout the day.

  • Do not let the loved one sit idle and resting for long periods of time, as they may become stiff and in pain if they begin moving. Instead, make sure they move around at least a little bit each hour to create blood flow and movement in the legs and arms.

  • Just because a loved one may not be able to do the activities they enjoyed doing in years past, involving them in your life and your families may provide that rewarding feeling of participation again.

  • An exercise routine can focus on painful areas and reduce discomfort through better fitness.

  • Arrange cupboards and furniture with their reduced flexibility and movement in mind.

  • Use safety rails in the bathroom and along stairways so the loved one can maintain their balance and still be provided with reassuring support.

  • If possible, anytime large items are used, it may be easier to condense the item such as soap or soda into a smaller, lighter bottle that they can lift easier.

  • In the kitchen, use lightweight dishware and cups with handles when they are eating.

  • Do not be afraid to attend arthritis support groups that can help caregivers adjust emotionally and better understand the condition.

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