May is National Arthritis Awareness Month, and in our last post we talked a bit about why the disease is so often misunderstood. The term arthritis is actually a catch-all word for more than 100 different diseases that cause some kind of joint pain. One thing all these different disease do have in common, however, is that they can make daily life very difficult.
Who Suffers from Arthritis?
Of the more than 100 different types of arthritis, the most common are osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and psoriatic arthritis. Because this category is so broad, nearly anyone can suffer from some form of the disease. However, it’s much more frequent among older Americans. According to the CDC, the numbers break out like this:
- 7.1% of people aged 18 to 44 years reported doctor-diagnosed arthritis.
- 29.3% of people aged 45 to 64 years reported doctor-diagnosed arthritis.
- 49.6% of people aged 65 years or older reported doctor-diagnosed arthritis.
In addition, women are more likely to suffer from arthritis than men.
What are the Symptoms of Arthritis?
Arthritis symptoms vary depending on the type, but most forms of the disease cause some kind of joint pain and stiffness. Sufferers also frequently experience joint inflammation and tenderness, as well as reduced joint mobility and sharp pain. Arthritis patients are also more likely to have other chronic conditions known as comorbidities. In fact, arthritis patients are more often obese, and suffer from diabetes or heart disease more frequently. This is because arthritis-related joint pain presents a significant barrier to exercise, which is critical to maintaining a healthy weight and cardiovascular system. This constant joint pain also makes many common daily activities more difficult.
How Does Arthritis Inhibit Activities of Daily Living?
Day-in and day-out we perform activities of daily living that we probably take for granted. These could be simple chores like cooking, laundry, or house cleaning. But these activities also include tasks like walking, climbing stairs, climbing in and out of the bathtub, and more. When you can move pain-free, you probably don’t think too much about your ability to accomplish these simple tasks. However, when every motion comes with excruciating pain, your mobility limitations are suddenly brought into stark relief.
Many patients with severe arthritis have difficulty dressing themselves, removing caps from their medicine bottles, moving around their homes, or preparing meals. Without help, these limitations are a clear-and-present danger to a patient’s health and safety. That’s why many patients with severe arthritis give up their independent lives, leave their homes, and live instead in a care facility.
How Can Home Care Help Patients with Arthritis?
More and more seniors want to age in their own homes rather than moving into long-term care facilities. So how do patients with severe arthritis maintain their independence without sacrificing their health or safety? In many instances, in-home care can help fill that gap. Qualified caregivers provide non-medical help with the ordinary tasks that can be so difficult for many arthritis patients. They can perform tasks like light house cleaning, meal preparation, and mobility assistance. Caregivers can also help arthritis patients with bathing, dressing, and other important self-care tasks. These caregivers play a vital role helping their clients continue living independent and healthy lives.
If you or someone you love lives in Arizona and finds painful arthritis symptoms are impacting your daily life, Generations Home Care can help. Call 602-595-HOME (4663) or fill out the contact form on our website and we’ll be in touch to arrange a visit from a member of our team. We’ll use this free assessment as a time to learn about your unique challenges while finding ways we can best be of assistance. Our caregivers are available for as little as a few hours a week to daily, round-the-clock care. It’s really up to you.
No matter how you choose to use in-home caregivers, you’ll soon find that they’re the missing link you’ll need to continue enjoying your independent life in spite of your arthritis pain.
About Generations Home Care
Generations Home Care offers personalized in-home care and support services to those recovering from illness, injury or surgery, living with a chronic disease, or dealing with the natural process of aging. We help people live a fuller, healthier and independent life.
Generations Home Care offers levels of care ranging from companionship, to respite for the primary family caregiver, to homemaking services, to assistance with activities of daily living, to Alzheimer’s and dementia care. We take a holistic approach and emphasize a consistent, client-centered plan of care.
Our Specialty Services Include:
- Rehab or hospital-to-home programs for safe discharge.
- Short-term postoperative care during recovery periods.
- Non-medical life management services for people with chronic conditions.
- Veteran’s connection to care program.
- Live-in services and couples care.
If you’d like to learn more about how we can help you, contact us today at 602-595-HOME (4663) or by filling out the contact form on our website.