Arthritis pain is something that can come and go for your senior. When she’s in the midst of a flare, your senior’s joints may be hot, swollen, and red. She may find it difficult to move the affected joints at all, much less do any of her regular activities. That’s part of what can be so difficult about arthritis and never knowing when a flare is going to happen.
Start with Your Senior’s Doctor
As with any medical issue, you want to start with your senior’s doctor. Your elderly family member’s doctor can give you detailed information about how arthritis affects her specifically. There may be medical therapies that your senior can use in addition to these ideas.
Alternate Heat and Ice
Ice and heat are both helpful for arthritis pain. Alternating those two methods is highly effective, but you need to make sure that you’re not using either for too long. For heat, make sure that the heating pad or hot pack is not too hot and put a towel or some type of cloth between the pack and your senior’s skin. Ice is cold, but it can also burn delicate skin. Make sure that there is some sort of fabric barrier with ice packs, too.
Massage helps to move fluid through your senior’s joints and tissues, which can help to warm up the joints and keep them limber. Your senior may also learn some specific stretches and movements that help her to experience less pain. Massage can be a way to ease your senior into becoming more active.
Exercise Does Help
Moving, much less exercising, may feel to your senior like the last thing she wants to do when her arthritis is flaring up. But it really can be helpful. Exercise helps to strengthen the muscles around the joints, which supports them when they’re feeling weak and painful.
Get Some Extra Help
When your elderly family member is experiencing more pain than usual, she may find it difficult to handle some of the tasks that aren’t a problem when she’s not in the middle of an arthritis flare. Senior care providers can make a huge difference for your elderly family member on those days.
Finding the right combination of treatments for your senior’s arthritis pain is really important. There may be solutions that work better at certain times of the year, so you may need to adjust periodically to account for other contributing factors.