Although arthritis is an ailment characterized by pain and immobility, you can help a loved one manage it. Researching and listening from individuals managing the same disease will help you to know more about the disease.
Check out the following tips on how to give both emotional and palpable support to an ailing loved one.
Make Adjustments to the Patient’s House
These changes will often be at the kitchen, bathroom, stairway or other places frequented by the patient:
• Staircases may need slip mats installed to prevent falling. You may consider solutions such as stairlifts to make movement easier. Check out https://www.jamesonmedical.com to see the best stairlifts for arthritis patients.
• Ensure you have better slip mats in the bathtub and by the toilet. Some patients may require adjustable bathtubs to reduce pain when exiting the tub.
• In the kitchen, most adjustments will entail relocating the shelves to reachable heights. Avoid putting things under counter level as bending and reaching causes pain. Arrange the most used items closer to the counter and have a kitchen stool to avoid standing for long.
There are different cases of arthritis and each patient’s recommended exercise may vary. Body awareness exercises such as yoga are good for arthritis patients; they feature activities that improve posture, balance, and coordination. These exercises remind the patient on their points of balance and play a huge part in reducing the risk of falls and injuries.
Consult with your doctor to know the most ideal exercises for an arthritis patient. For instance, a patient who has had corrective joint surgery is inevitably at risk of injury from certain exercises. Therapeutic exercises are often the first step for such patients who have not been active in a long period.
Making an Exercise Plan
Start by drawing up short term and long term goals, preferably guided by your rheumatologist. It may prove challenging for the patient to stick to a regular program at first, but the body will get used to it with time.
Keep an eye on changes in arthritis symptoms such as longer pain periods, which indicate fatigue. Do not let the patient exercise two hours before bedtime, as this may cause problems during sleep. Avoid exercising during morning hours; this may cause stiffness or pain in arthritis patients.
Spread out the exercises into short reps throughout the day to reduce fatigue. Keep an exercise journal that preferably logs how the patient reacts to each session. This may help you analyze the data later with your doctor, deciding on how to better achieve your predetermined goals.
Involve the Patient in Their Management Journey
Taking actions without consulting the patient, regardless of their age, is not effective. Take into account the stress that the patient experiences when trying to cope with the disease.
Involve them in the research and consultations even though they may not accompany you all the time. You may try to filter negative results to keep the patient’s morale up. This won’t be necessary if your patient’s psychological state is stable. The idea is to make them feel comfortable and that they have control of their health.
Patients diagnosed with chronic illnesses may face psychological problems when they are unable to go about their usual activities. Make them feel in control of their life to avoid this.
Being a caregiver is more about giving hope and being a companion to a patient; try to make your time with the patient fun and fulfilling. Attending conferences that help patients interact with other people suffering from the same illness helps them adapt quicker. Most importantly, be prepared to make some adjustments in the home so that the patient is comfortable.