Caring for an Elderly Parent with Arthritis

Caregiver in Richmond Hill

Arthritis is a condition that causes the joints to become severely inflamed, resulting in pain, heat in the joints, and swelling. This is a condition that is chronic and, while there are ways to treat the Caregiver-in-Richmond-Hillarthritis, there is no cure for it. It affects over 50 percent of adults over the age of 65 and often makes it difficult for them to perform routine tasks. Because of this challenge in their daily life, many seniors are turning to caregivers to take care of the things they are unable to do.

By arming yourself with more information on this condition, you will be able to provide the care your loved one needs.

 

Symptoms

Whether your parent has been diagnosed with arthritis or you have a sneaking suspicion that they have it, tell their doctor if you notice any of the following symptoms.

  • The joints have become painful, swollen, or tender
  • Crunching or cracking sounds accompany the elder’s movements
  • Feeling stiff
  • The joints become warm to the touch or red
  • Bony knobs appear on the finger joints
  • Unable to move as much as they used to

If the senior has rheumatoid arthritis, there are additional symptoms to look for, such as:

  • Dry mouth and eyes
  • Anemia
  • Feeling exhausted or sick
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Fevers
  • Joint pain on both sides of the body that occur at the same time

 

Diagnosis

If you or the caregiver notice any of the previous symptoms, there more than likely have begun to develop arthritis. There are several tests that can be conducted at the doctor’s office to find out for sure, like:

  • X-rays: These pictures can show the doctor if there is any cartilage loss, bone damage, debris in the joints, or any other damage to the joints.
  • Joint aspiration: A needle is used to draw some of the fluid that is inside of the joint. A microscope will then be used to see if there is any bacteria, inflammatory blood cells, or crystals. This is an especially helpful test for diagnosing gout.
  • Blood tests: Blood tests can get an official diagnosis, especially for rheumatoid arthritis and gout.
  • Physical exam: The doctor will ask about the symptoms, as well as any other health problems that run in the family. He will then check the reflexes, range of motion, muscle strength, and joint swelling.

 

Care Tips

  • Medication: The doctor may prescribe medication or recommend over-the-counter drugs to help with the joint inflammation, swelling, and pain.
  • Surgery: If the medication does not work, the doctor may need to perform surgery in order to replace the damaged joint.

 

If you or an aging loved one are considering caregiver services in Richmond Hill, contact the caring professionals at Staff Relief Health Care 24/7 at 905.709.1767.

 

Source:  http://www.healthinaging.org/aging-and-health-a-to-z/topic:arthritis/info:care-and-treatment/

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