The term ‘Arthritis’ refers to inflammation of the joints. A joint pain is also known by the name ‘Arthralgia’. It is estimated that over fifty million adults and three lakh children are suffering from arthritis. There are about hundred different varieties of arthritis and related conditions. This disease is commonly found among women and adults who have crossed the age of sixty- five.
A significant decrease in the amount of cartilage tissue could lead to some form of arthritis. Swelling, pain, and stiffness are some of the common symptoms of arthritis. The intensity of the pain could be less, moderate or severe. Most of the people suffering from arthritis may experience a variation in the range of motion and discoloration in joints as well.
Some of the common types of arthritis are osteoarthritis (OA) and rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Osteoarthritis is a joint disease which is caused mainly due to aging and heredity. Rheumatoid arthritis is an auto-immune disorder which affects joints, hands and feet. In this case, the body’s immune system destroys its own tissue and internal organs.
Symptoms of arthritis
Some of the major symptoms of arthritis are as follows:
If any of the above symptoms last for more than two weeks, an individual must consult a doctor or a rheumatologist immediately. The concerned health care provider carries out detailed study about the symptoms and conducts a physical exam. An individual may be required to take necessary tests such as X-rays or lab tests before taking medications.
Role of Senior Living Communities in treating Arthritis
Senior living homes provide the necessary assistance via efficient and skilled nursing services. They are fully aware of up to which extent the disease could affect older adults. Senior housing communities have got well-equipped trained instructors to guide them through walking, moving, yoga and weight training exercise.
They offer nutrition and conduct wellness programs to improve the health thereby reducing joint and muscle pain in people who are suffering from arthritis. The primary objective of assisted living facilities is to reduce the chronic pain as well as enhance their overall health and quality of life. The care giving staffs of senior communities offer appropriate medication at specific times and dosages.
Medications to cure arthritis
Pain relievers like acetaminophen (Tylenol), aspirin and ibuprofen are supplied to cure minor discomfort and swelling. Topical creams containing active ingredients such as menthol are also applied directly to sore joints to gain relief. Doctors may sometimes prescribe drugs such as Celebrex and suggest treatments like steroids if symptoms are acute.
Coping with arthritis in old age
Apart from drug treatments, Health interventions such as physical exercise, adequate nutrition, and weight control are effective methods in eliminating severe symptoms of arthritis. In senior living communities, the seniors are offered a right proportion of vitamins, minerals, and proper diet.
A diet which is rich in fibre, nutrients, protein and minimum quantity of salt, sugar and saturated fat helps in maintaining the weight. There are few senior living communities which focus mainly on exercise. Exercise such as walking can reduce arthritis fatigue and pain to a great extent. Nowadays the senior communities conduct several physical activities programs including dance classes and Tai chi which are customized according to the needs of the people.
Educational seminars and exercise programs are conducted exclusively for those who are suffering from rheumatoid arthritis. The main objective behind organizing seminars is to get acquainted with mechanisms of the disease, pain management along with regular exercise and nutrition.