6 Way to help people with Osteoarthritis stay safe
This can be a challenge for anyone who is caring for someone who has Osteoarthritis, but this is an important part of ensuring the well-being of your loved one's quality of living.
“Osteoarthritis is a condition that affects your joints, causing pain and stiffness. It’s by far the most common form of joint disease, affecting people all over the world and at least 8 million people in the UK.”
Arthritis Research UK
This means that many adults will be looking after their parents with Osteoarthritis will be increasing and they themselves may not be in the best of health.
As well as affecting the joints in the feet, hip, knees, fingers, it can also affect the spine and limit the quality of life of those who suffer from this.
As someone one who has the opportunity to care for your loved ones, there are ways in which you can help your loved ones maintain their independence.
Here is a list of things you can do
One way is to encourage them to live a full life for as long as they can.
Be knowledgeable, some people may not want to question a doctor with your knowledge you will understand the condition a lot better and will be in the position to ask relevant questions and have a better understanding of treatments. You can do this by researching on line, reading appropriate books and talking to health professionals about how to live with Osteoarthritis.
You can make changes in the home. One of the biggest challenge people have is falling, when someone falls the results can be very serious if not fatal. The progression of Osteoarthritis can cause the muscles around the joints to become weak and stiffen up which can increase the risk of trips and falls. A fall at home will affect your loved one's independence.
You can make your home a safer place by making some small but important changes.
1. Ensure good lighting in entrance halls and at the top and bottom of the stairs. Make sure light switches can be easily used and lamps can be easily switched on and off.
2. If finances are available have difficult light switches changed or moved and have motion sensor lights for when people get out of the bed or go to a bathroom at night. A torch nearby will always be useful.
3. Check the carpets and repair any loose fitting edges, remove any electric wires that can cause trips and rearrange low furniture like foot stools and coffee tables.
4. Adding hand rails in the bathroom around the toilet and in the shower/bath, ensure adequate hand rails on the stairs.
5. Look at the kitchen and maybe redesign where items are kept so that they are within easy reach, don’t give your loved ones a reason to stand on a chair to reach something that may be too high.
6. Remove loose rugs from entrance ways and near stairs, and provide good storage space for shoes to avoid trips.
By making their home safe will help them be independent for longer and reduce the risk of trips and falls.
Diet and exercise will also benefit your loved ones in face diet and exercise will benefit everyone (note to self) Promoting fitness and weight loss can help relieve the pressure on the joints. Exercise has been known to reduce stress and help people relax and improve their emotional well-being
You may not be in a position to be with your loved ones all the time so to help with that it may be an idea to invest in an emergency response system. This allows the wearer to push a button to request help in an emergency. I remember my father falling in the garden and he was there for about 20 minutes before he found the strength to get himself up.
Be aware of your own health as caring for someone who has osteoarthritis can be stress full and can cause the carer depression and worry.
We here at Your Care and Support are here to help and advise you with all your care needs, you are not alone. Please call us for any help and advice and if you need someone to pop in to help your parents in the morning and evening this can be arranged.
Call us on 07584906053