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Home Care for Arthritis Sufferers

Man with Arthritis Pain in Flowery Branch, Georgia
Home Care Services for Arthritis: If you or an aging loved-one are suffering from arthritis, let Home Care Matters help! Call today for more information.

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Arthritis is very common but is not well understood. Actually, “arthritis” is not a single disease; it is an informal way of referring to joint pain or joint disease. There are more than 100 different types of arthritis and related conditions. People of all ages, sexes and races can and do have arthritis, and it is the leading cause of disability in America. More than 50 million adults and 300,000 children have some type of arthritis. It is most common among women and occurs more frequently as people get older.

Common arthritis joint symptoms include swelling, pain, stiffness and decreased range of motion. Symptoms may come and go. They can be mild, moderate or severe. They may stay about the same for years, but may progress or get worse over time. Severe arthritis can result in chronic pain, inability to do daily activities and make it difficult to walk or climb stairs. Arthritis can cause permanent joint changes. These changes may be visible, such as knobby finger joints, but often the damage can only be seen on X-ray. Some types of arthritis also affect the heart, eyes, lungs, kidneys and skin as well as the joints.

There are different types of arthritis:

Degenerative Arthritis
Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis. When the cartilage – the slick, cushioning surface on the ends of bones – wears away, bone rubs against bone, causing pain, swelling and stiffness. Over time, joints can lose strength and pain may become chronic. Risk factors include excess weight, family history, age and previous injury (an anterior cruciate ligament, or ACL, tear, for example).

When the joint symptoms of osteoarthritis are mild or moderate, they can be managed by:

  • balancing activity with rest
  • using hot and cold therapies
  • regular physical activity
  • maintaining a healthy weight
  • strengthening the muscles around the joint for added support
  • using assistive devices
  • taking over-the-counter (OTC) pain relievers or anti-inflammatory medicines
  • avoiding excessive repetitive movements

If joint symptoms are severe, causing limited mobility and affecting the quality of life, some of the above management strategies may be helpful, but joint replacement may be necessary.

Osteoarthritis can be prevented by staying active, maintaining a healthy weight, and avoiding injury and repetitive movements.

Inflammatory Arthritis
A healthy immune system is protective. It generates internal inflammation to get rid of the infection and prevent disease. But the immune system can go awry, mistakenly attacking the joints with uncontrolled inflammation, potentially causing joint erosion and may damage internal organs, eyes and other parts of the body. Rheumatoid arthritis and psoriatic arthritis are examples of inflammatory arthritis. Researchers believe that a combination of genetics and environmental factors can trigger autoimmunity. Smoking is an example of an environmental risk factor that can trigger rheumatoid arthritis in people with certain genes.

With autoimmune and inflammatory types of arthritis, early diagnosis and aggressive treatment is critical. Slowing disease activity can help minimize or even prevent permanent joint damage. Remission is the goal and may be achieved through the use of one or more medications known as disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs). The goal of treatment is to reduce pain, improve function, and prevent further joint damage.

What Can Be Done About Arthritis?

There are many things that can be done to preserve joint function, mobility, and quality of life. Learning about the disease and treatment options, making time for physical activity and maintaining a healthy weight are essential. Arthritis is a commonly misunderstood disease. The Arthritis Foundation is the only nonprofit organization dedicated to serving all people with arthritis. Its website, arthritis.org, has many resources for learning about arthritis, practical tips for daily living and more.

Home Care Services for Arthritis

Arthritis Home Care Services are for those with needs on a basic level. These services support quality of life through services focused on support and stimulation, rather than hands-on care. These services provide companionship, respite, encouragement and light housekeeping.

Our clients that benefit from these services are often the elderly, new and expectant parents, disabled individuals and those transitioning from a hospital or medical facility to home.

Duties may include:

  • Monitoring Nutrition
  • Light Housekeeping
  • Meal Planning, Preparation & Clean-Up
  • Assistance with Laundry & Ironing
  • Assistance with Grocery Shopping
  • Changing Linens
  • Transportation & Errands
  • Dry Cleaning Drop-Off & Pick-Up
  • Mobility Assistance
  • Medication & Scheduling Reminders
  • Escort to Religious Services
  • Prescription Drop-Off/Pick-Up
  • Aid with Reading
  • Taking Out Garbage

Source: http://www.arthritis.org/about-arthritis/understanding-arthritis/what-is-arthritis.php