Living with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) can be difficult because the disease is painful and can be debilitating. It can cause your aging relative to lose some mobility and suffer severe pain. While it’s important that the older adult receives medical care from a doctor who is experienced with RA, there are also things that they can do at home to cope with the disease, such as the 5 tips listed below.
#1: Try Fish Oil
Studies suggest that fish oil could help to reduce the pain and stiffness of RA. Before the older adult takes a fish oil supplement, though, they should speak with their doctor. Fish oil can interact with certain medications. Also, the senior should be aware that there can be side effects, such as nausea and a fishy flavor in the mouth.
#2: Stay Physically Active
RA symptoms may cause your older family member to not feel like moving around much. However, exercise can help to improve symptoms and prevent disability. People with RA should include stretching, strengthening, and light aerobic activity in their exercise routine. If exercise is painful, talk to the senior’s doctor who may refer them to a physical therapist. A physical therapist can teach the senior exercises that fit their abilities.
#3: Learn Ways to Reduce Pain
Work with a physical therapist and an occupational therapist to determine if there are assistive devices that can help reduce pain and make certain tasks easier. A splint can help aching joints to rest for a time. There are also devices that can reduce the stress that doing some things can put on affected joints. For example, a long-handled grabber can eliminate the need for the older adult to bend to pick things up or to reach up high.
#4: Eat a Healthy Diet
There isn’t a special diet for people with RA, but eating a balanced, healthy diet can improve overall health. In general, a healthy diet is one that avoids processed foods, excess sugar, and fried foods. It includes plenty of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and lean proteins.
#5: Create a Support System
It’s common for older adults with RA to suffer from depression and anxiety due to living with a chronic disease. Having a strong support system of friends, family, and caregivers can provide the emotional support the senior needs.
In addition, having a senior care provider who comes to the home to help with difficult tasks can also improve the older adult’s quality of life, reducing the chances of depression occurring. Senior care providers can assist with grooming, bathing, and dressing, so your aging relative can continue to feel good about themselves. And, senior care providers can offer transportation, allowing the older adult to continue getting out of the house where they can interact with others.
If you or an aging loved one is considering hiring Home Care in Point Loma, CA, or the surrounding area, please contact the caring staff at Love 2 Live Care. Call Today 1-619-291-4663