When it comes to arthritis, it’s estimated that 54 million adults have been diagnosed by a doctor. Of those cases, about 31 million have osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis occurs when cartilage in the joints degrades and causes bone to rub on bone. This leads to stiffness and swelling in that joint.
There are other types of arthritis. Gout is a form that occurs when uric acid builds up and causes crystals that lead to pain and swelling in certain joints. The big toe is often the target of a gout flare-up. No matter what type of arthritis your dad has, the pain may impact the things he is able to do independently. You can help him.
Encourage Him to Follow His Doctor’s Recommendations
Some of the first things a doctor will advise as arthritis sets in are to lose weight, if needed, and exercise regularly. Muscle strengthening exercises are important for joint health.
Diet may help. If your dad has gout, seafood, beer/wine, and red meat are more likely to trigger a flare-up. Sticking to foods that help ease inflammation, such as leafy greens and berries, are better.
Make sure he’s using pain relievers as often as he needs. Ibuprofen is one his doctor is likely to recommend. Your dad should follow his doctor’s recommendations on how often to take the medication to ease the pain. Hot and cold compresses can also help relieve pain.
Join Him on Walks
If your dad has a hard time with mobility when arthritis pain is bad, join him. Be there for him to lean on for support. You may not be able to help him each day, but once a week is better than no help at all. You could also drive him to a gym for beginner Tai Chi or Yoga classes to help strengthen muscles and ease the pain.
You need to make sure your dad knows that exercise is important. The pain may have him wanting to slow down, but that makes it worse. He needs to work the joints and keep them as limber as he can.
Look into Elderly Care Services
Have you investigated elderly care services for your dad? He could have caregivers stopping by for a chat and to take care of the housework that is tougher when arthritis is present. Talk to an agency to arrange elderly care services that help your dad stay independent.
If you or an aging loved-one is considering Elderly Care in Airway Heights, WA please contact the caring staff at Angel Senior Care today at (509) 326-4357.
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