What is Degenerative Arthritis?
Degenerative arthritis, also known as osteoarthritis, describes a process where joint cartilage and the bone underlying it, begin to deteriorate. This is a progressive condition and causes stiffness, pain, and joint malformation. It is a common condition, especially among older adults, and affects approximately 30 million Americans.
In senior living communities and memory care communities, it is common for residents to have osteoarthritis. Below are a few evidence-based strategies for coping with the difficult symptoms of degenerative arthritis.
BayView Senior Assisted Living: Best Senior Living Community Near You
At Bay View Assisted Living (and at our partner locations, Mesa View Senior Assisted Living, Harbor View Senior Assisted Living, and RanchView Senior Assisted Living) we strive to provide compassionate, individualized care, preserving our residents’ dignity at every stage of their Alzheimer’s journey. We’re committed to holistic care that engages our residents on emotional, mental, spiritual and physical levels.
How to Cope with Degenerative Arthritis
- Stress Management and Reduction: Not only does reducing stress help lower physical inflammation, it can also help mitigate the sensation of pain in the body. Relaxation techniques, breath work, and meditation can all lower stress levels and help cope with pain. Tai Chi and yoga, which combine relaxation, meditation, breathing, and low-impact exercise, are both recommended by the American College of Rheumatology.
- Physical Activity: Continuing to move one’s joints and cartilage through running, walking, and swimming is important to prevent or slow down deterioration. Though this research is newer, strength training at least twice a week is strongly recommended for individuals impacted by arthritis.
- Healthy Weight: Maintaining a healthy weight also puts less stress on joints, ligaments, and cartilage. Working with a healthcare provider to reach a healthy weight is important and helpful for older adults impacted by osteoarthritis.
- Supplements: In addition to consuming a diet rich in fruits and vegetables and lean protein, there are a few key supplements that may be beneficial. Some of the most well researched supplements for degenerative arthritis include collagen and gelatin, vitamins A, C, and D, magnesium, and glucosamine. Gelatin helps repair cartilage and vitamins aid collagen synthesis. Magnesium targets overall joint health.
- Adequate Hydration: Making sure the body is properly hydrated goes a long way for joint and cartilage care. Learn more about creative hydration solutions for older adults here!
What Can Caregivers and Assisted Living Staff Do?
Understanding a resident’s specific type of arthritis and where in the body it impacts them is the first step to caring for someone with degenerative arthritis. Caregivers can provide support by managing medications and making sure residents know how to properly use assistive devices.
Most memory care residents want to remain as independent as possible for as long as possible. Knowing when to stand back and when to help can be a difficult but important line for caregivers to navigate.
San Diego’s Top Memory Care and Senior Care Community
BayView Senior Assisted Living in Point Loma, California is one of the top assisted living facilities in the greater San Diego area. We’re known for our compassionate caregivers, beautiful grounds, and personalized, individualized care.
We understand that our residents’ holistic experience of life (social, spiritual, emotional, mental, physical) is incredibly important. Our compassionate caregivers provide top-notch, individualized care to each of the members of our memory care communities. Our newest care community, located in Encinitas, provides a beautiful, home-like setting for loved ones to age in place with dignity. Take a look at RanchView Senior Assisted Living.
We are consistently rated the best senior living community in San Diego! Get in touch with us today to schedule a COVID-safe tour.