Experiencing arthritis, especially with old age, can be extremely difficult to deal with. Joint pain can lead to trouble walking or using simple body parts like hands and arms. Often times, those experiencing arthritis may feel like a burden to their loved ones. However, those that help care for someone with arthritis may realize that while the process is challenging, it can also be very rewarding.
Typically, arthritis comes in two forms: osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. A victim of arthritis, depending on the type, may experience joint pain, joint stiffness, decreased strength and functionality and a decreased range of motion. In a recent blog post, VeryWellHealth lists some of the most effective ways to care for someone with arthritis, including:
- Build an understanding of your loved one’s condition. While you may not be able to relate entirely, understanding what disease they have and what they struggle with the most is a great start to giving exceptional care.
- As you may come to find out, caregivers may deal with hardships too. To make things easier for both involved, communicate often and don’t hesitate to share your feelings.
- Letting go of independence may be hard for someone struggling with arthritis. Therefore, it’s important to allow for room to breathe and to know when to step back. Eventually, your loved one will tell you when help is needed.
- Managing medicine is a very important task and one to be constantly cautious of. In order to manage medicine properly, stay organized and mindful of when medication is needed.
- Odds are, your loved one may not know how to use assistive devices properly, such as a cane or walker. Understanding everything from assembly to usage is important for your loved one’s functionality. And as assistive devices become more technological, building an understanding of the technical aspects can be extremely valuable.
- Exercising regularly while experiencing arthritis comes with many benefits. Physically, your joints will stay lubricated and strong. Additionally, your loved one’s functionality can improve, as well as their mental health. The process of going through arthritis treatment is tough, but with regular exercise, both the caregiver and patient can come out stronger.
For additional treatment, consider physical therapy. Physical therapists, also known as movement experts, can complement your at-home treatment in positive ways. This can both improve your loved one’s condition and educate yourself as someone who cares.