Did you know that over 4.6 million Canadians are living with arthritis, and that about 3 out every 4 of them have osteoarthritis?
If you’re caring for a loved with with arthritis, here are 3 things that ease the challenge:
1. Do your homework.
The first step to providing effective care for loved ones with arthritis is understanding their ailment. While there are over 100 types of arthritis (technically, arthritis is joint inflammation and refers to a wide range of conditions), there are 2 main types: osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
Osteoarthritis is the breakdown of cartilage and connected bones through long-term wear and tear. Rheumatoid arthritis is an inflammatory disease affecting joint lining.
Visiting websites, such as The Arthritis Society, is a great start to understanding the disease.
2. Lend a hand.
Asking for help while insisting on maintaining independence can be embarrassing, so your loved one may be reluctant to request assistance. Keep an eye out for areas where your loved one struggles and think of ways to make things easier for them while helping them do as much as they can on their own.
As well, talk to your loved one about tips and tricks they use to relieve pain and discomfort and look for ways to anticipate the moments when you can help implement those techniques.
3. Help them age in place.
Most older adults want to age at home. The problem, however, is that many of those homes were never built for aging in place. Look around your loved one’s home for ways to improve their living space, making it easier for them to function and get around. Eliminating hazards, placing things within reach, improving door handles and faucets, and even installing handrails in the washroom are all simple examples of how you can update your loved one’s living space.
Another way is incorporating furniture especially designed for aging in place, like the Titan Swivel with Royal EZ, which adapts to your loved one’s mobility needs as they age.