When a senior has painful arthritis, family members often worry that their loved one is not safe living at home. They wonder, “is Mom taking her medications correctly, and following other treatment instructions? Is she getting as much exercise as the doctor recommends? Is she getting out less because of her reduced mobility?” Family may also be juggling job tasks and other family responsibilities, spending more and more time taking their loved one to doctor’s appointments and helping with the housework and personal care.
Home care services can help your loved one manage arthritis in several important ways:
- Assistance with the activities of daily living. Mobility limitations and painful joints make it hard to do some of the daily tasks most of us take for granted. An in-home caregiver can assist with housekeeping, transportation, laundry, personal care, and meal preparation, including special diets.
- Encouragement and confidence to support activity. Exercise is a vital ingredient for managing arthritis. With home care, your loved one will feel more secure engaging in the activity program the healthcare provider has recommended. Whether it is a walk around the block, chair exercises or gardening, senior home care services provides an extra measure of confidence.
- Transportation to healthcare appointments and prescribed activities.Physician appointments, water aerobics classes, physical therapy…your loved one’s arthritis care schedule all seems to take place during the hours when most family members are at work. A trained in-home caregiver can ensure that your loved one gets to scheduled appointments on time.
- Medication management. It is very important that your loved one takes medications at the right time, and in the correct way. An in-home aide can provide medication reminders, take your loved one to the pharmacy or pick up prescriptions, help organize medications, and report any side effects.
- Fall protection. Arthritis is a top risk factor for senior falls. Removing clutter from pathways, mopping up spills promptly, performing potentially hazardous household tasks, “spotting” the person as he or she walks down the front stairs—in these and more ways, having an in-home caregiver close by can help prevent falls.
- Care after joint replacement recovery. An in-home aide can also be of great help in caring for a loved one who is recovering from hip or knee replacement surgery. Complying with post-surgical instructions is one of the top predictors of success in these surgeries. In-home care helps the patient avoid dangerous motions that could compromise healing.
A trained, professional caregiver can help your loved one manage their arthritis, thereby maintaining the highest degree possible of independence and well-being. This provides welcome peace of mind for the arthritis patient and family alike!
For More Information
The Arthritis Foundation offers support, resources and information about more than 100 types of arthritis and related conditions.
See the website of the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases for information and the latest updates.