Arthritis is a common ailment among the elderly. It is estimated that more that 50 percent of individuals age 65 and older have some form of arthritis in at least one joint. There are more than 100 different types of arthritis though they all have one similar symptom: inflammation and often pain in one or more joints that may, eventually, lead to decreased mobility.
Alternative Pain Relief
Relieving the pain of arthritis is a priority for most caregivers as well as for the parent’s that they care for. There are several options to consider and what works for one person does not always work for another. Try various options until you find what works for your parent.
- Topical ointments that contain capsaicin or NSAIDs. These may help relieve the pain and inflammation associated with arthritis.
- Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation—otherwise known as a TENS unit. This sends an electrical current to painful joints and works by overriding pain pathways or stimulating the brain to release endorphins.
- Heat and cold therapy. The application of ice packs for 20 minutes followed by the application of a heating pad for 20 minutes has been shown to reduce pain. This is due to the ice reducing inflammation and the heat relaxing overused muscles. Heated paraffin wax baths can offer relief for arthritis-affected hands or feet.
- Exercise and Physical Therapy. Exercising an already painful joint doesn’t always make sense. But low-impact exercise that strengthens muscles while increasing flexibility offers support to damaged joints. Exercises to consider are swimming, water aerobics, tai chi, low-impact aerobics and bicycling.
- Massage Therapy. According to the Arthritis Foundation, massage therapy can help relieve the pain of arthritis. Tiffany Field, a research psychologist at the University of Miami Medical School was quoted as saying the following regarding massage: “Massage can result in a significant reduction in pain for people with all types of arthritis. Any type of full-body massage therapy that involves moderate pressure should help relieve arthritis pain and ease tension.” There are probably as many different types of massage as there are therapeutic practitioners. Help your parent find one that is right for them.
Elder Care Provider
Eventually, it may be difficult for your parent to complete some of the everyday activities of living. When the time comes, consider obtaining the services of an elder care provider. These professionals care for your parent in the privacy of their own home and provide support with daily tasks such as light housekeeping, preparing healthy meals, running errands such as grocery shopping, and helping them with hygiene such as bathing and dressing. They can accompany them on daily walks and provide that all-important aspect of a well-rounded and happy life: companionship.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering elder care in Marlton, NJ, please contact the caring staff at TLC Home Care Services today. Call (856) 234-8700 for more information.
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