Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a disease that comes with periods of flare-ups. Flare-ups are times when the symptoms of the condition worsen for a while, making it even more painful and difficult to live with. Although RA is not a curable disease, there are ways that living with it can be better.
Below are 4 healthy habits that older adults can follow to reduce RA symptoms and prevent flare-ups.
#1: Follow the Doctor’s Advice
Your aging relative has probably been given a treatment plan by their doctor. The plan might include medicines and when to contact the doctor about worsening symptoms or disease progression. The best way to manage RA is to follow the doctor’s instructions. Older adults should take medicines exactly as they were prescribed, including dosages and timing.
Elder care can remind your older family member when it is time to take their medicine. They can also watch for symptoms to get worse and contact family caregivers to ensure the senior gets medical care when needed.
#2: Eat a Healthy Diet
Eating nutritious foods supports overall health and improves joint health. For the most part, eating the same healthy diet experts recommend for most people is what seniors with RA should eat, too. There’s also some evidence to suggest that eating a diet that fights inflammation can help. An anti-inflammatory diet is one that avoids processed foods, refined sugars, and artificial ingredients.
Elder care can prepare healthy meals that contain fresh, whole ingredients that support overall and joint health.
#3: Keep Moving
Everyone needs exercise, though it can be harder with RA because of joint pain. However, gentle exercise can help to keep joints mobile. It can also help with weight loss, which takes some of the stress off of joints. In addition to exercise, it’s also important for people with RA to change positions often when doing tasks. For example, when the older adult is writing or doing crafts, they should loosen their grip every 10 to 15 minutes to give hands a break. When watching television, encourage them to get up and move around every half hour or so.
Elder care can assist your aging relative to be more physically active. They can also remind the senior to take a break from activities to move and stretch a bit.
#4: Rest as Needed
Exercise and activity are important, but so is rest. RA can cause fatigue. Resting allows seniors with RA to feel well enough to engage in the activities they enjoy. They should aim for 8 hours of sleep each night and take short daytime naps when they feel tired.
Elder care can allow older adults to get the rest they need by taking over household tasks that can tire them out. For example, an elder care provider can clean the house or prepare meals while the senior takes some time to sit down or take a nap.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering hiring Elder Care in Chico, CA, talk to the caring staff at Partners in Care today. Serving El Dorado, Nevada, Yuba, Sutter, Sacramento, Placer, Butte, Glenn, Yolo, & Colusa Counties! Call us 24 hours a day, 7 days a week! (530) 268-7423
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