7 Tips for Helping Your Loved One With Arthritis
Did you know that there are more than 100 types of arthritis? Everyone's experience with arthritis is different, and what works for one person may not work for another. Here are several ways you can be helpful and supportive if you have a friend or loved one who has arthritis.
The most common is osteoarthritis, in which the tissues in the joint (such as a knee or hip) break down over time. There’s also rheumatoid arthritis, which is an autoimmune and inflammatory disease, which means that your immune system attacks healthy cells in your body by mistake.
Those and the many other types of arthritis—which are all incurable—can cause pain, stiffness, and swelling in the joints. The pain may be slight or require medication. Stiffness and swelling may cause someone with arthritis to avoid physical activity, but that can only make it worse. All of these physical symptoms can make the person more vulnerable to falling.
Besides the physical challenges, arthritis can cause emotional distress, such as depression and anxiety, which can further impact quality of life. Chronic pain and limited mobility can contribute to feelings of helplessness and frustration. Arthritis can also limit social activities and participation in community events, leading to social isolation and loneliness.
If you have a friend or loved one who has arthritis, there are many ways you can be helpful and supportive. Here are some suggestions:
Remember, everyone’s experience with arthritis is different, and what works for one person may not work for another. The most important thing you can do is to be there for your loved one and offer your support in whatever way they need it.
Our caregiver Wendy helps address our client, Judy, regularly with her arthritis condition. Wendy picks up Judy’s prescriptions, makes sure that Judy takes her meds as prescribed, and helps her with daily exercise, including stretching. Judy takes a couple different types of pain relievers, and is a big believer in natural anti-inflammatories like fish oil.
The support that Wendy provides Judy makes coping with the condition better, while also providing companionship support, where Judy is able to share with our caregiver her struggles along the way. It proving to be am effective way for Judy to addressed her condition, and avert other factors that can emerge like depression and anxiety. Also, they have developed a great bond over time.