Your dad is getting older now, and you have noticed that he’s been having some trouble getting around. When he wakes up in the morning, he feels stiff, and it hurts to walk sometimes, or grab a drink from the fridge. You might be thinking that this is just another unfortunate side effect of aging, but in actuality, it could be something that you can actually do something about: arthritis.
If you or your senior care aide have noticed the following symptoms in your aging loved one, they could be suffering from arthritis. A trip to the doctor will confirm it, and your doctor can then give you a list of medications, diets, and exercises that can help stave off joint pain and inflammation.
Symptoms of Arthritis
- Stiffness – As described in the introduction, someone with arthritis will feel stiff, and like they can’t quite stretch out their limbs all the way. Stiffness can be a sign of many other illnesses, like Parkinson’s disease, but in this case, the stiffness will most likely be centered around the joints in the knees, fingers, shoulders, elbows, and other places.
- Swelling – Swelling is caused by the inflammation of the joint. A redness, heat, or enlargement of said joint can all accompany this swelling, and can signal that arthritis is at work. The swelling can be very painful, and is thusly one of the main ways that someone is able to ascertain whether they are suffering from this condition.
- Decreased range of motion – Someone with decreased range of motion is no longer able to carry out movements the same way that they used to. For example, they might not be able to lift their arm over their head, or move it in a circle, or put their arms behind them to hook or unhook a bra if the arthritis is affecting their shoulders. If the arthritis is affecting their knees, they might not be able to take large steps anymore, and if it is affecting their hands, they may not be able to close their fingers around something.
- Pain – Pain is the number one complaint of the arthritis sufferer. It is the cause of the decreased range of motion, because you can’t put your arm over your head if it is screaming in pain! Joint swelling hurts, and it can be very limiting. Some people with arthritis can hardly move without hurting, and this is why you and/or your senior care aide need to be on the lookout for these symptoms, so that you can get your loved one help as soon as possible.
Arthritis, unfortunately, is not a fatal illness, but it can greatly affect one’s quality of life if left untreated. The best way to help someone with arthritis is to try to catch it as early as possible, and help them to get the treatment they need in order to feel more comfortable. Some days their arthritis will be worse than others, but you should be there for them as much as you can, so that they have someone in their corner regardless of the severity.
If you or an aging loved one are considering senior care in New Brunswick, NJ, please contact the caring staff at Care Street Home Care of New Brunswick today. Call (732) 607-8870.