With aging, most people have an encounter with discomfort, fatigue, and pain in the joints. The pain can sometimes become severe. If you are a caregiver of an elderly with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) which is a chronic inflammatory disorder affecting joints, you have to keep in mind certain things so that your caregiving challenges can be minimized. So, here are the few caregiver tips for elderly with rheumatoid arthritis.
Encourage to do exercise
Since morning stiffness is a common symptom of the disease, encourage him or her to do regular exercise. Request to do exercises such as stretching, cycling, or swimming so that the flexibility of muscles can be maintained. Even engaging daily in activities like yoga or walking can help the elderly to minimize pain and discomfort.
Pay utmost attention to managing the medications because people with RA have to take several medicinal drugs. While some of these may be over-the-counter, some may be prescription treatments. So, any kind of mismanagement can make things worse for them.
Caregiving to an elder person with RA can be very exhausting and can hurt your emotional and physical well-being. So, don’t hesitate from seeking help from family members, friends or neighbours. Make a list of tasks in which you think people can help you. Such tasks may be grocery shopping, refilling prescriptions, laundry, and so on. By seeking help, you will have some time to indulge in self-care so that you can carry out your caregiving duties more efficiently.
Invest in technology
People with rheumatoid arthritis experience difficulty in doing easy tasks such as opening the lid of a can, handling cooking utensils, peeling potatoes, and so on. So, try to invest in the latest gadgets lock and lift can opener, electric potato peeler or automatic jar opener. Making sure cooking utensils have rubber handles because they are easy to have a strong grip. Try to avoid cast iron pots or those made up of ceramics. Also, try to install railings in the bathroom and anti-slip strips on the floor because they may have mobility issues which make them more prone to falls and trips.
Most importantly, you must develop a caregiver support network so that when things become difficult for you and caregiving starts taking a toll on your health, others can offer timely help. Remember, caregiving can be challenging and rewarding you. You can continue your role as a caregiver for the long term only when there is help available for you. For emotional support and some handy tips on caregiving, you can even avail the membership of a Facebook community.