As the years have unfolded, your mother’s hands have grown increasingly affected by arthritis, with the typical knobs known as Heberden’s nodes or Bouchard’s nodes. All your mother knows is that her hands are no longer recognizable, disfigured from years of use, and now she can no longer open a jar or lift a paintbrush.
What is Osteoarthritis?
Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis among seniors, affecting approximately 49.6 percent of those ages 65 and older. It is caused by the degeneration of cartilage–the tissue that lies at the end of bones, between joints. Eventually, it can lead to the painful condition of bone rubbing against bone. If the pain becomes too severe or movement severely restricted, surgery to repair or replace the damaged joint may be in order. It is always the last resort. Fortunately, there are strategies you and your loved one can look into that may just decrease their pain and increase their mobility.
How to Help
Pain, stiffness and swelling are the main effects brought on by arthritis that need to be addressed. Keep trying. While one may offer limited relief, another may be just the solution your parent needs to help increase their quality of life.
- Movement. Just the thought can make your parent twinge. Move an already painful joint? You must be joking. The truth is that movement can help with all that ails them. It reduces both swelling and stiffness and, by increasing muscle mass, helps support the injured joints thereby lessening the pain. Their physical or occupational therapist will be able to steer them in the right direction in regards to specific exercises for the affected joints. There are also several online resources that can be found on WebMD and Healthline. And don’t forget to schedule at least 30 minutes a day of aerobic exercise to increase their energy levels and stamina.
- Applications. Paraffin baths are very soothing to aching joints. When experiencing acute pain, ice can be beneficial. Topical ointments that contain anti-inflammatories or capsaicin, a derivative from chili peppers, have also been shown to reduce the pain associated with arthritis.
- Devices. There are several devices designed to help make everyday living a little easier for those suffering from arthritis. These include jar openers, steering wheel grips and long-handled shoe horns.
- Alternative therapies. Some people with arthritis swear by weekly massage therapy, acupuncture or acupressure treatments. Be sure to find therapists that have experience treating those with arthritis.
Home Care Provider
If your loved one experiences difficulty performing the everyday tasks of living, consider getting them some help in the form of a home care provider. They can not only assist with daily activities, they can also provide transportation and accompany your parent on daily walks and to social outings, making sure they obtain both exercise and companionship.
If You Or An Aging Loved One Are Considering Hiring Home Care in St. Petersburg, FL, Please Contact The Caring Staff At Assisting Hands Home Care Today! 727-748-4211.