Arthritis is a common ailment, and more than 20% of Americans deal with it in some form. It’s much more common for older adults, though. Close to 50% of people over the age of 65 have been diagnosed by a doctor with arthritis, and some might have milder forms that have never been diagnosed.
While the pain and mobility issues that come from arthritis can be debilitating, medication and other treatment options allow many people to live active lifestyles despite their arthritis. And if you’re considering a move into an assisted living community, that could help you support a vibrant lifestyle even when dealing with a chronic condition such as arthritis. Check out some tips below for living with arthritis as well as some information about how an assisted living community can help.
Tips for Living With Arthritis
Medications do exist for treating arthritis of all types, so talk with your doctor. It’s important to understand exactly what type of arthritis you have and the best medical options for addressing it. Without a diagnosis, you could be trying to treat one form of arthritis when you’re suffering from a different form. And sometimes other chronic health conditions can mimic some symptoms of arthritis, so checking in regularly with your doctor is always a good idea.
But once you do that and your doctor recommends a medication or treatment program, there are some things you can do to help keep your muscles and joints working as well as possible each day.
- Put all of your muscles and joints to use regularly if possible. If you sit a lot to watch television or craft, for example, get up every 15 to 20 minutes to move about the room and perform some safe stretches.
- Eat foods that are healthy and limit foods that can cause inflammation. Foods that are high in sugar and salt increase inflammation in your body, which can make symptoms of arthritis worse. Some foods that you might want to try to incorporate into your diet to help with arthritis can include fatty fish, ginger, broccoli, berries, spinach and healthy nuts. Always check with your medical provider before making major diet changes, though.
- Use areas of your body that are strongest when necessary. For example, if you have arthritis that’s worse in one knee, use the other leg to lead when you’re walking up a flight of stairs.
- Integrate adaptive aids into your regular life. These can include electric can openers or large-handled utensils that reduce the need for grip strength in the kitchen, devices to reduce bending or automatic cleaners for tubs or toilets.
How Can Life in an Assisted Living Community Help Support Seniors With Arthritis?
Keeping house regularly can become a challenge for those with serious arthritis. Simply gripping a sponge to clean the kitchen counter may be an obstacle, for example. One of the great things about choosing to move into an assisted living community such as Hickory Villa in Omaha, NE, is that you can benefit from numerous services and amenities. That includes housekeeping and laundry.
Restaurant-style dining and made-from-scratch meals also mean you don’t have to do as much in the kitchen. With some of these tedious tasks handled for you, you can use your strength on activities you really want to do. That can help you get more enjoyment from your day even if arthritis slows you down a bit.
Another benefit of residing at Hickory Villa is access to on-site exercise programs. These group programs help you put your body to work in a way that’s tailored to you, and you do so with the guidance of professionals, so you can feel safer trying new movements and pushing yourself a little further to find gains.
The staff at the assisted living community is also on hand to provide help with chronic disease management. Whether you’re trying to figure out the best medication regime with help from your doctor or want some guidance on what foods are best to reduce arthritis symptoms, you can reach out for regular, professional help.
Finally, assisted living communities are designed to meet the needs of seniors of all health and mobility levels. That means whether you’re having a good day or a bad day with arthritis, you’re still able to get around the community and there are still activities you can engage in to help keep your mind off your symptoms.
The National Institutes of Health publishes a paper that calls arthritis the most common cause of disability in older adults. But even if your arthritis is impacting your mobility, you don’t have to give up on an active life. Reach out to Hickory Villa to schedule a visit to find out how we can help you manage your condition and live an enjoyable life.
Posted on Thu, September 3, 2020
by Shawn Deane