Osteoarthritis and the ElderlyJanuary 20, 2017
Home Care in Suffolk NY
Arthritis is a general term that refers to over 100 different diseases of the joints. 53 million American are affected by this sometimes ravaging disease. One-third of these individuals are seniors. While all arthritis’s carry the signature joint pain and stiffness, each varies on treatment protocol and potential outcome.
The most common arthritis that affects seniors is osteoarthritis, also called degenerative joint disease. The pain and stiffness associated with this disease is due to the breakdown of cartilage, the shock absorber between joints. The most common joints affected are the hands, spine—primarily the neck and low back—as well as the weight-bearing joints of the knees, hips and feet. Unlike rheumatoid arthritis, it does not affect the organs.
Hands. Osteoarthritis in the hands can appear as small, bony nodes. They occur in the joints of the fingers and thumbs and are most common in women after menopause. The thumb joint is particularly susceptible to this disease which runs in families.
Knees. This area of the body is one of the most commonly affected by this disease. It can lead to difficulty with movement including walking, getting up from chairs and transferring into the bath or shower.
Hips. Arthritis of the hip can mimic other disease as the pain does not always feel like it is originating in the hip joint. At times it can radiate to the inner thigh, groin or buttocks. It can make getting dressed difficult due to inability to bend or lift leg without pain.
Modifiable Risk Factor
The one modifiable risk factor, meaning you can do something to change it, is being overweight. If your loved one is carrying excessive weight on their body frame, reducing this weight and thereby the load on their joints, is crucial in maintaining an active lifestyle and limiting the effects of this disease.
Regular exercise improves muscle strength and tone, supporting the body frame as well as joints. That, along with a diet rich in fruits and vegetables and low in processed foods, fats and sugars will get them headed in the right direction. Physical therapy can help reduce the progression of osteoarthritis.
Senior Care Provider
If your loved one is having difficulty performing the daily activities of living, a senior care provider can help. They can assist with dressing, bathing and helping them move from one location to another. They can prepare healthy meals and accompany them on daily walks, motivating them to make the necessary changes critical to limiting the ill-effects of arthritis.
If you or an aging loved one are considering elderly care in Suffolk, NY, contact Star One Home Care and Medical Staffing at 718-733-2222 or 914-362-0899. Call today!
Resources: www. Arthritis.org/about-arthritis/
Patricia started her nursing career 19 years ago at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and research institution in New York City, and since then has gained experience in Adult Intensive Care Units (ICU) , Pediatric Care (PICU ), Operating Room (OR) , mental health and community settings. She later moved into director of nursing roles, where she obtained extensive experience in leading and developing the nursing profession. She also pioneered good partnership working with other health care organizations, as well as social services, and the wider community.