Arthritis is one of the most common chronic health conditions in Canada. Approximately 1 in 5, or over 6 million Canadians, are affected by this disease. Arthritis can have a significant impact on the quality of life and make day-to-day tasks difficult. Although there is no way to cure arthritis, there are available treatments, and there are a number of strategies that can help you or your loved one manage the pain and help adapt to living with arthritis.

As September is Arthritis Awareness Month, we wanted to share a few tips on managing arthritis that could hopefully help you or a loved one who is struggling with arthritis.

Stay moving

If possible, avoid staying in the same position for too long. For example, if you have a desk job, you may want to make sure you get up and move around every 30 minutes or so. You may also want to do the same thing when you are reading or watching television.

Simplify

You may be able to reduce your arthritis symptoms by minimizing the workload or the activities that may cause your arthritis to flare. This may be as easy as purchasing clothing that does not require ironing or using a dishwasher to help you with the dishes. You may also want to keep items you frequently use in easy-to-access places, so you can always find them and reach them without excessive effort.

Avoid stress

Putting extra stress on your joints can become really painful due to arthritis. Activities such as opening a jar with a tight lid may be incredibly painful or outright impossible. Investing in tools that can help with such tasks can be incredibly beneficial. In the case of lids, using an automatic jar opener can help avoid extra stress and extra pain on your joints.

Use adaptive aids

Adaptive aids like keyless door locks or an automatic toilet bowl cleaner in the bathroom can help offload some of the burdens caused by arthritis. There are a number of devices on the market that can help you avoid extra bending, stooping or reaching.

Modify your home

There are modifications that could be made around your home to make living with arthritis easier. A grab bar over the tub may be used to help you or your loved one get in and out of the shower. A bathing chair may be used in the shower if standing or laying in a bath becomes too challenging.

Ask for help

Staying independent is important for our self-esteem, which can also lead to better overall health. Oftentimes, we may feel that asking for help seems like we are giving up our independence or giving in to our illness. However, trying to do everything yourself while being affected by a disability may be harmful long-term and lead to more complications. There is nothing wrong with asking for help when you or your loved one needs it. This may be asking friends and family members to help with certain tasks or having a senior home care worker come in and help with daily tasks around the house.

If you would like to explore the possibility of home care for yourself or someone you love, give VERA Home Care a call today!