About 25% of U.S. adults have arthritis. This painful chronic health condition affects more than 58 million people. May is Arthritis Awareness Month. It’s a good time to learn the facts and ask your dad how well he manages when arthritis flares up.
There Are Dozens of Types of Arthritis
There are more than 100 inflammatory joint conditions under the general umbrella of arthritis. Osteoarthritis is the type you’re going to know best. It’s caused by excessive use of joints as you age. Other types of arthritis include gout, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, and fibromyalgia.
Around Half of Older Adults Have Arthritis
The older he gets, the more likely it is that your dad’s doctor will diagnose him with arthritis. In people 65 or older, 49.6% have been diagnosed with arthritis.
Arthritis Increases the Risk of Falling
When an adult has arthritis, the pain and inflammation can impact balance and stamina. Arthritis doubles the fall risk. People with arthritis are 2.5x more likely to fall two or more times in a year. Those falls can lead to severe head injuries or bone fractures.
Gout Is More Common in Men
Men are more likely to develop gout, an inflammatory arthritis that typically appears in the joint of the big toe. If your dad has gout, the pain can be excruciating. He won’t want to wear a sock or shoe. He might find that a sheet and bedding cause pain.
Dietary changes can lessen the risk of a flare-up. He needs to avoid red meat, alcohol, and shellfish.
There Is No Cure
You cannot cure arthritis, but you can manage the pain and inflammation with exercise, medications, weight loss, and hot and cold compresses. Over-the-counter NSAID medications like ibuprofen are commonly used to treat the pain.
Exercise is Key
While it seems counterproductive to exercise when arthritis pain is flaring up, it’s exactly what your dad needs to do. He needs to walk at least 30 minutes per day. If he can tolerate other activities, such as Tai Chi and Yoga, that’s even better.
Smoking Can Worsen the Pain
If your dad has rheumatoid arthritis, smoking worsens the pain. Smoking can also increase the risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis. If he’s a smoker, he needs to quit the habit. A good place to start is by talking to his doctor.
Support Your Dad’s Desire to Age at Home
In-home care aides make a big difference when it comes to your dad’s independence. He may not be able to do everything around his home, but the tasks he can’t manage are completed by in-home care aides. It helps him remain independent as he ages at home.
To arrange in-home care, call an agency. Ask questions, get prices, and book the services your dad needs.
If you or an aging loved-one is considering In-Home Care in Orlando, FL please contact the caring staff at Winter Garden Senior Home Care today. (407) 347-2050