According to the Arthritis Society, one out of every five Canadians currently lives with arthritis—which amounts to about 6 million people, many of whom are older. Living with this inflammation-based condition can also be a physical and emotional roller coaster for seniors. If your aging loved one has arthritis but wants to limit his or her reliance on medication, here are six ways to naturally manage this type of discomfort.
1. Appropriate Forms of Exercise
Seniors with arthritis are often advised to exercise to keep joints and supporting tissues healthy and minimize further damage. However, some older adults are hesitant to do so because they’re afraid of exacerbating their symptoms and experiencing pain. But this doesn’t have to be the case with the right approach to exercise, which is also beneficial because it stimulates the release of hormones called endorphins that can reduce the perception of pain. The types of exercise often recommended for seniors with arthritis include:
• Low-impact workouts that target core muscle groups
• Swimming and other water-based forms of exercise
• Casual walking
• Yoga, Pilates, and similar disciplines with slow, controlled movements
A professional caregiver can help your loved one exercise safely and offer you peace of mind. If your aging loved one needs help managing everyday tasks or encouragement to adopt healthier lifestyle choices, turn to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of homecare services. Victoria Home Care Assistance provides professional in-home caregivers around the clock to help seniors live longer, happier, and healthier lives.
2. Foods with Natural Anti-Inflammatory Properties
Because arthritis is an inflammatory condition, the discomfort it causes is largely due to swelling around joints and supporting tissues. Seniors looking to keep this type of pain in check may be able to do so by following a diet that includes foods that naturally fight inflammation. Some of these include:
• Spinach, kale, and other leafy green veggies
• Sardines, tuna, salmon, and other healthy fatty fish
• Fruits such as blueberries, strawberries, oranges, and cherries
Eating healthy provides a number of benefits for aging adults. Seniors who want to remain healthy as they age can benefit in a variety of ways when they receive professional elder care. Home Care Assistance is here to help your loved one accomplish daily tasks, prevent illness, and focus on living a healthier and more fulfilling life.
Stress is a common trigger for inflammatory reactions within the body, which could worsen arthritis-related symptoms. Meditation is a popular relaxation technique that can be done practically anywhere. It promotes a type of mental focus that naturally eases stress and promotes better sleep, which is also good for an older adult affected by arthritis.
4. Hot/Cold Therapy
Seniors can easily use hot or cold therapy when experiencing pain flare-ups from arthritis. Cold applications such as ice packs can reduce inflammation. Heat increases circulation and boosts the flow of beneficial nutrients to tissues around joints. Direct application of either cold or heat to the skin should be avoided.
5. Massage Therapy
When proper techniques are used, massage therapy can be an effective way to manage arthritis for some seniors. It’s also a good way to relieve stress. While deep tissue stimulation is usually best avoided, gentler massage techniques may benefit older adults with arthritis by:
• Reducing pain by increasing beneficial hormone levels
• Boosting blood flow
• Promoting relaxation and enhanced overall wellbeing
• Increasing flexibility and range of motion
Involving the strategic insertion of sterilized needles, acupuncture is a natural remedy that focuses on restoring the body’s life energy, or qi, in a way that helps internal systems work together. A study done by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research found this therapeutic technique may benefit those with arthritis by enhancing functional mobility and overall quality of life. There’s also evidence acupuncture may reduce reliance on pain relievers.
Living with serious health conditions can make it challenging for seniors to age in place. However, they can maintain a higher quality of life with the help of professional 24-hour care. Victoria seniors can benefit from assistance with meal prep, bathing, transportation to the doctor’s office, medication reminders, and much more. Reach out to us at Home Care Assistance if you need compassionate professional home care for your loved one. Call one of our friendly Care Managers today at (250) 592-4881.