Few diagnoses can create such a
transition from the routine in life, as does arthritis. Activities
such as sports, traveling, and driving are often too painful to
continue, and realizing the physical limitations can be
disappointing. Being a caregiver in times such as this can be a
stressful situation, but here are some tips that may allow the
caregiver to alleviate a loved one’s emotional and physical pain
associated with arthritis.
Become as educated as possible
with the conditions of arthritis and be knowledgeable on any new
treatment options available.
Because arthritis usually affects
the hands first, writing may be more difficult for them, but finding
the right balance of comfort may only require a small triangle
cushion found in many office supply stores.
Pill reminders can reduce the
stress of taking pain medication throughout the day.
Do not let the loved one sit idle
and resting for long periods of time, as they may become stiff and
in pain if they begin moving. Instead, make sure they move around at
least a little bit each hour to create blood flow and movement in
the legs and arms.
Just because a loved one may not
be able to do the activities they enjoyed doing in years past,
involving them in your life and your families may provide that
rewarding feeling of participation again.
An exercise routine can focus on
painful areas and reduce discomfort through better fitness.
Arrange cupboards and furniture
with their reduced flexibility and movement in mind.
Use safety rails in the bathroom
and along stairways so the loved one can maintain their balance and
still be provided with reassuring support.
If possible, anytime large items
are used, it may be easier to condense the item such as soap or soda
into a smaller, lighter bottle that they can lift easier.
In the kitchen, use lightweight
dishware and cups with handles when they are eating.
Do not be afraid to attend
arthritis support groups that can help caregivers adjust emotionally
and better understand the condition.
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