Living With Arthritis Pain
When diseases that affect accessibility, such as rheumatoid arthritis, begin to take effect, they can have a major impact on activities of daily life. These effects vary greatly, depending on the individual, but often make tasks that would otherwise be rather easy and straightforward, such as standing up, much more difficult.
Rheumatoid arthritis and other types of arthritis, of which there are more than a hundred, can affect those of all ages, but are most common among seniors. Dealing with the symptoms of arthritis can be quite difficult, but by learning what things are difficult for the senior, these tasks can often be overcome.
This process of learning about what sorts of problems the senior faces and what activities they find result in arthritis pain ties into a type of arthritis treatment called living with arthritis. This process involves several tasks, but the main goal is to make life easier for the affected individual.
The first step is, of course, to identify what kinds of tasks spur arthritis pain for the senior or are difficult as a direct result of the disease. Often, this can be a difficult task, because actually associating the arthritis pain with a specific action is not always possible. To make this easier, making a list of activities that the senior preforms on a regular basis and the times when arthritis pain is present can be a good first step.
As an example, take someone who experiences arthritis pain after emptying the dishwasher. Since not doing the dishes is not an option, finding a way of making emptying the dishwasher easier and less likely to result in arthritis pain is essential.
There are a few ways this issue could be addressed. For example, instead of waiting for a full load of dishes to be ready, the senior could start running the dishwasher sooner, so there are less dishes to put away. It may also be a good idea to reorganize the cabinets, so there is less reaching and stretching involved with putting away the dishes. Also, changing the way the senior holds the dishes, for instance, holding the plates flat against the body, as opposed to only with their hands, could also help with reducing arthritis pain.
As can be seen from the above example, a big part of the process for determining a safe and efficient way of preforming a task involves troubleshooting the issue and finding out what exactly is difficult about the task.
In many cases, seniors will also find that using a home living aid, which is a very broad term, to help with the task makes life much easier. For example, since grasping items is often difficult for those with hand arthritis, using objects with larger handles is often a big asset. There are many kitchen utensils available for those with arthritis, as well as pens and pencils, which are designed with larger easier to grab handles.
Other mechanical tools can also be a big benefit, for example, using an automatic can opener or a tool designed to make opening jars easier can also help reduce arthritis pain. Other tasks, such as standing and sitting, can be made simpler by using tools like lift recliners, which are designed to make it easier for the senior to stand up on their own.
There is no cure for arthritis and, as a result, one of the most important steps in treatment is helping to make life easier for the affected individual. The process of learning to live with arthritis is essential and helps reduce the effects of the disease, while minimizing the reliance on prescription medicines and other types of arthritis treatment.