Senior female sitting on a bed holding her knee due to arthritis pain Senior female sitting on a bed holding her knee due to arthritis pain

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:

Educate yourself about arthritis: Learn as much as you can about the condition, including its causes, symptoms, and treatments. If your loved one is taking medication for their symptoms, learn about the potential side effects. For example, anti-rheumatic drugs can cause problems ranging from nausea and hair loss to liver damage.
Be empathetic and understanding: Arthritis can be a very painful and debilitating condition, and your loved one may be feeling frustrated or overwhelmed. Try to be patient and understanding, and offer emotional support whenever possible.
Help with daily tasks: Arthritis can make even simple tasks like opening jars or carrying groceries difficult. Offer to help with daily tasks, such as cooking, cleaning, or running errands.
Encourage exercise: While it may seem counterintuitive, exercise can actually help reduce arthritis pain and improve joint function. Encourage your loved one to participate in low-impact exercise, such as walking or swimming, and offer to join them.
Make home modifications: If your loved one has trouble getting around their home due to arthritis, consider making some modifications to make their home more accessible. This might include installing handrails, modifying furniture, or installing a stair lift.
Help with doctor appointments: Arthritis often requires ongoing medical care, including regular check-ups and treatments. Offer to help your loved one schedule appointments, drive them to appointments, or take notes during appointments.
Be a good listener: Sometimes, your loved one may just need someone to talk to. Be a good listener and offer your support, even if you can’t solve all of their problems.

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.


Shawn McComb

I’m Shawn McComb and I’m the Owner of Right at Home in the Milwaukee area.  Along with my wife Lisa, we’ve operated our locally-owned Home Care business for over 7 years. Combined, we have more than 40 years of experience in the medical and non-care medical healthcare industry. Our team offers a wide range of in-home Personal, Companion, and Respite and Transportation services to clients, by caregivers who are bonded, insured, background checked and drug screened.  We provide care in client’s homes, Independent Living, Assisted Living and Memory Care communities.  Our operating standards and culture are centered around providing best-in-class care. Caregivers go through a comprehensive set of training modules to assure that their competencies meet our client’s needs. We welcome the opportunity to serve you!

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Need help right now? Call us anytime at

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Need help right now? Call us anytime at

(414) 877-1795