How Home Care Helps Arthritis Patients
Did you know that one in every four adults in the U.S. has arthritis? It’s a leading cause of work disability – in fact, 8 million working-age adults report that their ability to work is limited because of their arthritis. For example, they may have a hard time climbing stairs or walking from a parking deck to their workplace.
Arthritis affects all race and ethnic groups. It’s not a single disease, but is a group of over 100 different conditions, all of which can cause pain, swelling and an interference with normal movement. The most common form of arthritis is osteoarthritis. Other forms include gout, rheumatoid arthritis, and lupus.
When a senior has painful arthritis, family members often worry that their loved one is not safe living at home. Is their loved one taking medications correctly? Following the doctor’s recommendations for exercise? Is their loved one becoming isolated by decreased mobility and fear of falling?
Professional home care services – one of Family Home Health’s offerings – help senior clients manage arthritis in several important ways:
Assistance with the activities of daily living. Mobility limitations and painful joints make it hard to do some of the daily tasks most of us take for granted. A home care professional can assist with housekeeping, transportation, laundry, personal care, and meal preparation, including special diets.
Encouragement and confidence to support activity. With a home caregiver present, clients feel more secure engaging in the recommended activity program, whether it is a formal exercise program, a walk around the block, chair exercises or gardening.
Transportation to healthcare appointments and prescribed activities. Not all home care happens at home! If transportation is a challenge, the home care worker can take the client to doctor’s appointments, exercise classes, physical therapy.
Medication management. Depending on the type of caregiver and state regulations, home care workers can provide medication reminders, take clients to the pharmacy or pick up prescriptions, help organize medications, and report any side effects.
Fall protection. Arthritis is a risk factor for senior falls. Home caregivers can remove clutter from pathways, mop up spills promptly, perform potentially hazardous household tasks, and assist clients as they walk up or down stairs.
Care after joint replacement recovery. When a patient comes home after hip or knee replacement surgery, complying with post-surgical instructions is one of the top predictors of successful recovery. Home care helps patients comply with post-surgical instructions, such as avoiding dangerous motions that could damage the healing joint.
When arthritis compromises a senior’s mobility and quality of life, trained, professional caregivers support a client’s independence and provide welcome peace of mind for the patient and family alike.