Osteoporosis in word collageAccording to the Arthritis Foundation, 50 million adults in America have some sort of arthritis. Arthritis is not a single condition, but a term used to refer to a large group of conditions that affect joints. In fact, there are more than 100 different kinds of arthritis. Many people believe that aches and pains are just a part of aging, but they could be signs that an older adult has arthritis, a condition that is treatable.

Symptoms of Arthritis
Because there are so many different kinds of arthritis, the symptoms may vary. However, there are some symptoms that are common to most kinds of arthritis, such as:

  • Pain.
  • Stiffness.
  • Swelling.
  • Redness.
  • Reduced range of motion.

The symptoms could be quite mild, moderate, or severe enough to impair a person’s abilities. In some cases, the physical changes caused by arthritis are visible, such as enlarged knuckles. But, most of the time, joint changes can only be seen on x-rays.

WebMD recommends that you talk to a doctor about arthritis in the following situations:

  • The person experiences pain with fever.
  • Pain and stiffness are sudden.
  • Sudden pain is accompanied by redness and severe joint tenderness.
  • Pain and stiffness occurs in the back, arms, legs, after sitting for a short time or after sleeping.

Risk Factors for Arthritis

There are several things that can put seniors at a greater risk for arthritis. Risk factors include:

  • Age: As people get older, they are more likely to develop arthritis.
  • Gender: A person’s gender can make them more likely to get one type of arthritis rather than another. For example, women get rheumatoid more often than men while men get gout more often.
  • Family History: Some kinds of arthritis have a genetic factor, so if a parent or sibling was diagnosed with the condition, others in the family may be diagnosed as well.
  • Obesity: Excess weight causes stress on joints, which may lead to arthritis.
  • Injury: Having a history of a joint injury makes arthritis in the joint more likely.

When a person has arthritis, doing even the most basic daily activities can be painful or even impossible. If your aging family member struggles with arthritis pain, a senior care provider can make a big difference. A senior care provider can assist with household tasks, like basic housekeeping that keeps the person’s home clean and safe. They can also help with more personal tasks, like bathing and grooming, for those who have trouble getting in and out of the bath or buttoning clothing. There are many other ways a senior care provider can help older adults with arthritis, too, such as cooking, laundry, and transportation.

Sources
http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/arthritis/symptoms-causes/dxc-20168905
http://www.arthritis.org/about-arthritis/understanding-arthritis/what-is-arthritis.php
http://www.webmd.com/osteoarthritis/guide/understanding-arthritis-symptoms

When you are in need of care for a senior loved one, consider caregivers provided by Golden Heart Senior Care. We have offices nationwide. For more information, call us today at (800) 601-2792.

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