Living with arthritis can be very difficult for many seniors. If you are one of the more than 50 million seniors in the United States living with arthritis, you may be moderately to severely impacted by joint stiffness and pain. Joint stiffness and pain caused by arthritis can change the way you live your life and impact everything from what you do for enjoyment to how you perform daily and necessary every-day functions.
For many with arthritis, mornings can be difficult as they wake up feeling sore and stiff. That can be extremely frustrating! However, morning routines are important to maintain and they set us up for the day ahead. Taking things slowly in the morning and giving your body time to warm up can be a great way to ensure that your arthritis pain and stiffness will be more manageable throughout the day.
For many people living with arthritis is inevitable, and while you may not be able to change that fact, there are many things you can do to mitigate the pain and discomfort that comes along with arthritis. These arthritis tips for seniors are helpful in setting yourself up for success every day!
5 Arthritis Tips for Seniors
Focus on what you can change
This may be one of the best arthritis tips for seniors out there. Studies have proven that our outlook and perception of our health and wellbeing actually impacts our lived experience. That means the way you look at things is extremely important. So, when it comes to living with arthritis, you can make an effort to shift your focus away from the bigger picture where you may tend to feel helpless and frightened about arthritis to the details of your every-day life. It’s in the small details that we are able to find power and agency. We may not be able to change the big picture, but the details are often easier to manipulate to our benefit.
By focusing on the details of your every-day life you will begin to see areas where change and improvement are needed. For example, is there a daily task that causes you increased pain and discomfort? If that daily task is a problem area, it may be impacting the rest of your day in ways you hadn’t previously noticed. So, why not take control of it and find a way to make that every-day task manageable? Luckily, there are a good number of arthritis tools, gadgets, and tips and tricks available to you to make living with arthritis more manageable.
Prepping your morning medication
Before you go to bed in the evening, set yourself up for a successful morning by prepping your medication. You can set an alarm to wake up an hour before your usual time. When the alarm goes off you can take your medication, drink water, and a small amount of food. Then you can rest for another hour until your usual wake up time. For some people who are unable to go back to sleep or to rest peacefully after waking, this may not be the best option, but for others allowing the extra hour for the medication to activate before getting up and moving can be extremely beneficial. Whether or not you chose to utilize this tip, be sure to always take your medications exactly as they are prescribed to you by your doctor.
Stretching throughout the day is important and, as you know, stretching as part of a regular arthritis exercise routine is an effective way to manage pain and stiffness. But, did you know that a simple stretch routine in the morning when you wake up can actually make a difference in your range of motion and mobility throughout the day? Starting your day off with some gentle stretches in bed is a great way to set yourself up for a good day.
Heat and light therapy
There are a few different ways you can apply heat therapy to your joints in the morning. You can use a heating pad or heated blanket, you can take a warm shower to heat your body up and get your blood flowing, or, you can even warm your clothes before dressing either with your heating blanket or by using the dryer for a few minutes.
In addition to using heat therapy for your arthritis, you can benefit from some exposure to either natural sunlight or to a light box if the weather is gray. Exposure to sunlight through your windows or simulated through a lightbox can give your serotonin levels a boost and improve your mood and energy levels.
Know your support people
You already know that medication, diet, and exercise are vital to your success as a senior living with arthritis, but you should not take for granted the importance of identifying and staying connected with a strong support network. Living with arthritis is not easy for anyone. You deserve to have the support you need to live your best life. You can find supportive communities online, if leaving your house is not always possible.
Other support people can be friends and family members, as well as people you chat with on the phone. Beyond that, it is important that you have a doctor who listens to you and that you feel you can trust. Many seniors also find it extremely beneficial to talk to a therapist on a regular or semi-regular basis. Whatever the makeup of your support network, having people to ask for help and support is vital to your success and can make a tremendous difference in outcome for you.
And, of course, you can always ask the experts at Cano Health about living with arthritis, managing pain, and improving the quality of your life. We are here to help!