Looking after and caring for someone with arthritis is a challenge. You need to achieve the right balance between providing support and motivation without being overprotective. Most people with arthritis will wish to retain as much control over their lives as possible, and you need to help them to retain their independence. Advice From a Physical Therapist
Be a caregiver for arthritis patient, you should learn about the condition, understand more about its symptoms and realize how to support them to control their actions.
Arthritis is a general term for conditions that affect the joints and surrounding tissues. Joints are places in the body where bones come together, such as the fingers, wrists, knees, hips and toes. The two most common types of arthritis are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
Arthritis Patient may experience different symptoms, include:
- Joint pain
- Joint stiffness
- Decreased muscle strength and function
- Lose emotions
- Functional mobility becomes difficult.
There is no cure for arthritis. Therefore, healthcare providers and caregivers focus on how to help the patient manage the disease and maintain quality of life.
But there are many ways that caregivers can help a loved one with osteoarthritis maintain his or her independence and mobility.
- Understand their condition. To take care of your loved one well, you should understand clearly about arthritis including the condition, symptoms and treatment. So that, you will be ready every time whenever they need assistance as well as know how to deal with every condition. You can do your own research online or at a library or bookstore. Talk to other health professionals, such as nurses, pharmacists, dieticians, and physical therapists, about how to live well with osteoarthritis.
- Communicate with your loved one. One direct way to learn about arthritis is talking with your loved one. Don’t be shy to ask them about their feelings and their conditions, then share your empathy and your opinion to give them a good caring.
- Take care of yourself: Caregiving for a loved one with arthritis can be stressful. Studies show that if caregivers don’t take care of themselves, they can suffer from depression and physical illness. So remember, taking care of your own health is of equal importance to taking care of your loved one.
- Get help from others. Find out organizations that can help them with daily life tasks e.g. Disability Living Associations, mobility aids, local support groups and pain clinics.
- Encourage them to do regular exercise. Both of you and your loved should be aware of the importance of exercise to cultivate arthritis. So, you can give them motivation and remind them every day
- Manage medications: Medications are the best way to manage arthritis, but many seniors forget to take their medication regularly or only take it when their pain becomes excruciating. Family caregivers should make sure that they are familiar with their loved one’s medication so that they can make sure they are taking it as prescribed so that their symptoms can be kept under control.
- Watch out your loved one to avoid falls. The patient with arthritis is at a greater risk for falls. Helping them with their activities of daily living as needed may include the use of toilet seat risers, chairs with higher seats and arm sets, and the use of assistance devices to move positions or to walk will help to prevent falls.
How Physical Therapy Can Help
Physical therapists are considered as movement experts, which help arthritis patients learn how to manage their condition. It is necessary to take part in PT. It will open a door for your friend or loved one to cultivate condition.
Caring for someone with arthritis can be very rewarding but sometimes frustrating. However your help, understanding and support could enable them to do as much for themselves as possible. This will help them maintain an active and enjoyable lifestyle and manage their arthritis rather than let it control them.