Arthritis in Seniors: Causes, Prevention, & Management

By Mark Schmidt, 9:00 am on April 22, 2019

Arthritis can affect almost any part of a senior’s body at any time. The more caregivers and their loved ones know about this condition, the easier it may be to address the underlying causes. Here are some of the top causes of arthritis and what can be done to prevent or manage it.

Inactivity

Living a sedentary lifestyle can increase the risk of developing arthritis. Encourage your senior loved one to remain physically active to reduce symptoms associated with this condition. Walking, swimming, and cycling are some of the activities that can work out the muscles and alleviate joint pain. Staying active keeps seniors in good shape and prevents muscle tension. Encourage your loved one to avoid sitting for long periods during the day. Suggest standing while doing daily tasks, such as watching television, talking on the phone, and completing household chores such as folding laundry. 

Professional caregivers can be a wonderful asset for seniors with mobility limitations or health conditions that make it difficult to exercise safely on their own. If your aging loved one needs help managing everyday tasks or encouragement to adopt healthier lifestyle choices, turn to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of senior home care. Tucson Home Care Assistance provides professional in-home caregivers around the clock to help seniors live longer, happier, and healthier lives.

Poor Sleep

Failing to get enough rest can cause widespread muscle and joint pain in the elderly. Aging causes seniors to develop more aches and pains, but sleep can reduce the amount of pain they experience throughout the day. Lack of sleep can lead to depression, poor circulation, and functional limitations. One of the main issues is that sleep deprivation can cause an acute inflammatory response in the body, increasing the inflammatory markers in the blood. When this happens, your loved one could experience more joint pain and other long-term health issues. Help your loved one develop a good bedtime routine, and make sure to remove all background noises. Your loved one should also avoid taking long naps during the day to prevent restless nights. 

For seniors with health conditions that make it difficult to sleep through the night, having a professional caregiver close by can provide a sense of comfort. For many seniors in Tucson, live-in care is an essential component of aging in place safely and comfortably. However, it’s important for them to have caregivers they can trust and rely on. At Home Care Assistance, we extensively screen all of our live-in and 24-hour caregivers and only hire those who have experience in the senior home care industry. Our strict requirements ensure seniors can remain in the comfort of home with a reduced risk of injury or serious illness.

Weather Conditions

The climate, especially snowy and rainy weather conditions, can increase pain in the joints. Your loved one should keep the temperature in the house comfortable and dress accordingly when going outdoors. For example, if it’s raining, your loved one should wear rain boots and a jacket and carry an umbrella. If your loved one lives in a cold climate, the heating system should be set to a comfortable temperature. Drops in barometric pressure can cause the muscles, tendons, and surrounding tissues to expand and increase the pain of arthritis.

Bad Eating Habits

The foods your parent eats can affect his or her bone health and increase the risk of arthritis. Red meats, sugary items, processed foods, and caffeine can cause inflammation and lead to swollen tissues. However, eating leafy vegetables, lean meats, seafood, nuts, and other healthy foods can protect bone health and increase circulation, reducing the risk of arthritis. Some of the best meals for seniors who want to stave off arthritis are those found in Mediterranean and vegan diets. The body receives the nutrients and vitamins it needs from these foods to prevent inflammation and boost joint health.

Because of the higher risk of arthritis, decreased immunity, and other health concerns, seniors should exercise, get plenty of sleep, and eat nutritious foods to maintain optimal health. There are a variety of age-related health conditions that can make it more challenging for seniors to live independently. However, many of the challenges they face can be easier to manage if their families opt for professional home care services. Tucson families can rely on expertly trained caregivers to keep their loved ones safe and comfortable while aging in place. If your loved one needs professional care, Home Care Assistance is here to help. Call us today at (520) 276-6555 to discuss how we can give you the peace of mind that comes from knowing your loved one is being cared for with professionalism and compassion.