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14 Oct 2023

Understanding and Living With Arthritis as a Senior


One of the most common health challenges seniors face as they age is arthritis. More than just a single condition, arthritis is a complex family of musculoskeletal disorders with a variety of types and symptoms. Learning about arthritis helps us to comprehend what is happening in our bodies. It also plays an essential role in managing its impact on our daily lives.

Below, we'll explore the different types of arthritis and the accompanying symptoms. Our goal is to help seniors live a fulfilling life despite this condition.

What is Arthritis?

Arthritis, fundamentally, is the inflammation of one or more joints. This inflammation is typically accompanied by pain and difficulty in movement. In fact, there are over 100 types of arthritis, making it a complex medical condition affecting seniors differently.

It is important to know that arthritis doesn't just affect the joints. It is a systemic issue that can impact seniors' overall health and wellness.

Types of Arthritis

Different forms of arthritis can present different symptoms in seniors. Here are several common types of arthritis to consider:

1. Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis, which is characterized by the breakdown of cartilage in the joints, can cause pain, stiffness, and reduced motion range. This degenerative disease affects millions of seniors worldwide.

2. Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis is an inflammatory and autoimmune disease. It results in painful swelling and can eventually cause joint deformity and bone erosion. Though it mainly attacks the joints, it affects many joints at the same time.

3. Gout

Gout, a form of inflammatory arthritis, is characterized by recurrent attacks of severe pain and swelling in the joints. It occurs when urate crystals accumulate in the joints as a result of a build-up of uric acid in the blood.

4. Psoriatic Arthritis

Psoriatic arthritis sometimes affects seniors who have psoriasis, leading to joint pain, stiffness, and swelling. Psoriasis is a chronic skin disease that causes scaly, red rashes. Arthritis symptoms can develop before or after the skin condition appears.

Living With Arthritis as a Senior

Adjusting seniors' lifestyles is a key component in managing arthritis. Maintaining a healthy diet rich in fruits, vegetables, as well as lean proteins can help manage weight and provide necessary nutrients.

Regular, gentle exercise like swimming or walking can keep joints flexible and reduce stiffness and pain. However, it is important to consult with healthcare providers to determine the best exercise routine for seniors.

Adequate rest is equally important, as the body needs time to heal and rejuvenate. Coping with arthritis also involves mental wellness. It is important for seniors to seek support from their loved ones and stay connected with their interests and hobbies. Living a full and active life with arthritis is entirely possible with the right approach.

Seek Medical Advice

Despite lifestyle changes, there may be times when seniors need to consult a medical professional. Constant pain, swelling, or redness around the joint, or if the condition restricts their daily activities, are signs that they should seek medical advice.

A healthcare provider can assist in diagnosing the type of arthritis, suggest appropriate treatments, as well as refer seniors to specialists for necessary care.

Senior Helpers Can Help Manage Arthritis

Senior Helpers provides quality, in-home senior care services customized to meet the needs of the seniors in our communities. Find a location near you and learn more about how we can assist.

We offer a wide range of comprehensive services including the management of various health conditions.