Arthritis affects nearly half of all seniors, and is the leading cause of disability. It can be a debilitating condition that can result in a lower quality of life, which comes with a whole other host of problems.
While the chances that your loved one will at some point suffer from arthritis are high, there are ways to combat it, and ensure that they remain healthy and happy! Here are just a few things you can do.
Maintain a healthy weight
Being overweight can put extra strain on already burdened joints – especially areas that are prone to arthritis such as the knees. Maintaining a healthy weight can ease the tension on these joints, ease pain, and maintain your loved one’s mobility. A study done on the subject showed that weight loss of just 11 pounds had the potential to reduce the risk of developing osteoarthritis in the knees by 50%!
Do steady, regular exercise
Arthritis may discourage your loved one from being active, but in addition to helping your senior maintain a healthy weight, doing steady, regular exercise can also combat arthritis itself. Regular exercise strengthens the muscles around the joints, and helps maintain bone strength. That being said, it’s important that your loved one doesn’t push themself – if they’re feeling pain, they should stop. “No pain, no gain” does not apply here!
Include these foods in their diet
According to support charity Arthritis Cares, there are a wide variety of foods that your senior can add to their diet that can help in a bunch of different ways. Nuts are a great source of Omega-3 fats, which can ease stiffness and reduce inflammation. Diary products are high in calcium – which is essential for healthy bones.
Vegetables are also important. Scientists at the University of East Anglia found a compound in broccoli called sulforaphane – and found that it may actually block the enzymes that are the cause of joint destruction in osteoarthritis. Another study found that women with the highest intake of vegetables of the allium family (which includes garlic, onions & leeks) had the lowest levels of hip osteoarthritis.
Of course, it’s also important to talk to your loved one’s doctor to develop a treatment plan that’s right for you senior. They can help you develop a personalized activity plan, which, when combined with other treatments, can help keep your senior happy and healthy!
Do you have a loved one that suffers from arthritis? What are some things you’ve done that have helped out? Let us know in the comments.