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Promoting Independence for a Senior with Arthritis

By Rick Cohen, 8:00 am on

If you’re caring for a senior loved one with arthritis, it’s understandable to want to help them retain as much of their independence as possible. And at Home Care Assistance of Milwaukee, we believe you should start by helping your loved one get into the right frame of mind! Arthritis is not something that has to be accepted as part of the aging process. It’s a condition that can often be managed with a combination of medication, therapy, regular activities and the use of special assistance devices.

Planning Daily Activities

Planning daily activities, whether it be taking a walk together or spending an afternoon at the mall, can help seniors get their mind off of their condition while also building muscle and joint strength. Other activities that may help seniors with arthritis include:

  • Swimming or spending time in a warm water pool (helps with inflammation and joint pain)
  • Supervised exercises (helps retain range of motion)
  • Painting (often easier to do since larger strokes or movements are involved)

Making Changes Around the Home

Issues with gripping can be addressed by making small changes around your loved one’s home like changing traditional doorknobs to ones with larger handles. Additional modifications to consider include:

  • Handrails in the bathroom
  • Pull strings to open and close blinds/curtains
  • Motion activated lights (also helps prevent falling)

Using Special Devices

There are many devices on the market that can help seniors retain their independence. For instance, shoe wedges can make it easier to get shoes on and off and rubber jar grips can help open jars without pain. Special fasteners like Velcro or zippers with larger pull-tabs can also be used in place of buttons.

If your loved one’s arthritis begins to severely impact his or her ability to perform simple daily activities, it may be time to consider help from a professional hourly caregiver in Milwaukee. Caregivers can be scheduled on a part-time basis and are highly trained in how to assist seniors, while promoting as much independence as safely possible.

Quick Tips for Your Senior Loved One

The following are a few other quick tips that can help promote safety and quality of life for your loved one with arthritis:

  • Use canes to prevent falls
  • Work with a physical therapist
  • Avoid heavy lifting
  • Push rather than pull
  • Lose weight (to reduce added pressure on joints)
  • Take medications as directed
  • Exercise for short periods of time

Interested in learning more about caring for a senior loved one with arthritis? Reach out to Home Care Assistance of Milwaukee at 414-964-8000 to request a complimentary, no-obligation consultation and see if a caregiver is the right fit for your loved one and your family.

How to Promote Independence for Elders with Arthritis