Pain and stiffness are common symptoms of arthritis.
Arthritis is an unpleasant chronic ailment.
Because it is painful and affects movement, arthritis can be debilitating.
Often flair ups mean those with the condition will require greater assistance from others.
I can still remember when I was just a lad, my grandparents and senior family members talking less than fondly about Old Arthur.
According to a recent VeryWell Health article titled “Caring for Someone With Arthritis,” many caregivers of those also beset with Old Arthur can find themselves at a loss for how to best provide support.
Perhaps, the following pointers can make providing support a little less intimidating.
Try to understand their condition.
Take time to educate yourself on the type of arthritis your loved one has because this can affect how it presents.
Knowing more about the condition generally, as well as how it specifically affects your loved one, allows you to better recognize areas where help is required.
Consider how rheumatoid arthritis affects the hands and movement of the upper extremities.
If your loved one has this ailment, then you can provide support in dispersing medications, opening jars and bottles, or completing other fine motor tasks.
Keep lines of communication open.
Asking your loved one about their arthritis and listening to their concerns and struggles will allow you to be a more supportive caregiver.
It is also important for you to communicate your concerns and experiences with support groups or friends to help alleviate the emotional toll of caregiving.
Know when to help and when to stand back.
Your loved one with arthritis is likely still very capable.
To be treated as an invalid can feel demeaning.
Give your loved one ample opportunities for independent living.
Often this means simply waiting for your loved one to ask for help.
Help manage medication.
Prescription regimens are common for those who have arthritis.
Keeping these medicines straight can be challenging, especially when other ailments are involved.
As a caregiver, you can help with dosages and the physical handling of medications.
Help with managing assistive devices.
Assistive devices like walkers or canes are common for those with arthritis.
These can also be hard to use.
Take time to learn how these devices operate and are properly used.
Encourage and help with exercise.
Although exercise often sounds counterintuitive when joints are in pain, exercising helps to lubricate joints and keep muscles strong.
As a result, mobility and independence can be improved.
By taking these steps, you can make arthritis less frustrating for you and your loved one.
Reference: VeryWell Health (May 29, 2022) “Caring for Someone With Arthritis”