While research shows osteoarthritis is genetic, arthritis symptoms don’t typically appear without certain triggers. If you’re concerned your elderly loved one may develop arthritis, promoting healthy habits may prevent those triggers. Read on for several lifestyle choices that can help your loved one delay or avoid arthritis.
Promote Weight Loss
As extra weight causes stress on your loved one’s body, being overweight can lead to arthritic joints. However, even minor weight loss can reduce bone and joint pressure that causes arthritis. To jump-start your loved one’s weight loss, encourage him or her to eat a healthy and varied diet, including a mixture of whole grains, fruits, vegetables, lean meats, and dairy products, while also limiting excess fats and sweets.
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Since being physically active can both promote weight loss and keep joints flexible, regular exercise is vital for arthritis prevention. Easy low-impact exercises like walking are the best and most convenient ways for seniors to begin an exercise regimen. Before your loved one gets started, make sure he or she has comfortable, well-fitting walking shoes and walks in a flat paved area with minimal traffic. A family member or caregiver should also walk with your loved one to provide mobility assistance and prevent falls.
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Reduce Repetitive Joint Stress
Repeated joint movements, particularly in the hands and wrists, can lead to arthritis. Make sure your loved one avoids excessive joint stress from activities like typing, using scissors or knives, sewing, and other actions that involve repetitive hand motions. If your loved one doesn’t want to give up these types of activities, encourage using ergonomic cushions and braces for his or her wrists and thumbs. You may also suggest taking frequent breaks and applying ice to the wrists and the thumbs to ease inflammation.
Help the Hips & Knees
Because the hips and knees are also vulnerable to arthritis, make sure your loved one wears supportive shoes whenever possible. Supportive footwear can reduce joint impact when walking or going up stairs and can diminish the stress poor posture puts on the hips and knees. A good pair of sneakers can also offer better grip than other footwear, helping your loved one avoid slips and falls both in and out of the home.
There are a variety of age-related health conditions that can make it more challenging for seniors to live independently. However, many of the challenges they face can be easier to manage if their families opt for professional homecare services. Windermere families can rely on expertly trained caregivers to keep their loved ones safe and comfortable while aging in place. Trust your loved one’s care to the professionals at Prestige Home Care Orlando. To create a customized home care plan for your loved one, call (407) 604-0506 today.