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Joint diseases in old age – how to avoid them?

With age, the body wears out comprehensively: all systems begin to “fail”, and the functions of all organs weaken.

In this difficult situation of caring for your loved ones, you are concerned about many issues. Our experts in this article will tell you when exactly you need skilled nursing care at home and other tips on how to distinguish the condition of your relative.

The main causes of joint pain

The main mechanism that triggers the appearance of pain is the inflammatory process (inflammation). The general name for inflammatory processes in the joints is arthritis. If inflammation simultaneously covers several joints, it is called polyarthritis.

Arthritis can be an independent disease or a manifestation (symptom) of many other conditions and diseases, such as

  • mechanical trauma (including sports injuries);
  • forced prolonged positions of arms, shoulders, and back (arthritis of a pianist, carpal tunnel syndrome of a programmer, etc.;)
  • systemic autoimmune diseases – when the body’s immune system “attacks” its own organs and tissues (rheumatoid polyarthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus, systemic scleroderma, rheumatism);
  • metabolic diseases (arthritis in gout, acromegaly, Itzenko-Cushing’s disease, long-term glucocorticoid therapy);
  • acute infectious diseases (influenza, Lyme disease);
  • diseases of degenerative-dystrophic nature (osteoarthritis);
  • tumors (myeloma, sarcoma).

Care for the elderly in the GalaxyHomeCareNY nursing home

The musculoskeletal system also gradually fails: muscles atrophy, bones become thinner, the cartilage becomes less elastic, and joint bags and tendons are deformed, suffering from salt deposition. And pain and forced immobility come. Is it possible to alleviate this condition?

Diseases of the joints in old age

By the age of 65, certain problems with joints occur in 70% of the elderly. By the age of 75, almost everyone complains about them – go to any retirement home for the elderly and arrange a survey, literally few will not complain of painful sensations when moving. Grandfathers and old people are affected by a variety of joint diseases – degenerative, infectious, and inflammatory.

There are many reasons for the development of these diseases:

  • age-related changes in tissues, cartilage, and bones
  • chronic infections;
  • age-related endocrine disorders;
  • hereditary predisposition;
  • injuries at a young age, difficult living or working conditions in damp and cold;
  • excessive body weight.

Even a sedentary lifestyle negatively modifies the condition of the joints. With age, a person reduces physical activity, poor blood circulation contributes to the starvation of cartilage tissue – it no longer receives adequate nutrition. The joint, which is in a blockade, is destroyed – arthrosis develops. But the most severe joint damage can be prevented!

Prevention of joint diseases

Medical professionals who serve the GalaxyHomeCareNY network of private boarding houses for the elderly recommend the following preventive measures:

  • A balanced diet and compliance with the drinking regime are mandatory. Fried foods (due to the high amount of fats and carcinogens), margarine and mayonnaise (due to trans fats), high-calorie confectionery, alcohol, sweet lemonades, and soda are excluded from the menu.
  • Physical activity adequate to age is necessary: systematic exercise improves blood supply, speeds up metabolism, and strengthens ligaments, joints, and muscles. There are joint exercises specially designed for age “athletes” with different levels of physical fitness.
  • Therapeutic exercise – if the exercises are selected correctly and the classes are supervised by a specialist – today is the most important element in the prevention of joint diseases in the elderly.
  • Everyone knows the situation of “workaholics” in the elderly: they certainly need to weed all the hectares of the garden, bring relatives the harvest, wash the floor in the entire apartment, and go for mushrooms for several hours. But joints should be protected from excessive loads!
  • Often after retirement, citizens of both sexes, on the contrary, relax. There is nothing wrong with a well-deserved rest if it is not a constant lying on the couch in front of the TV plus the use of all kinds of high-calorie and unhealthy foods (and especially not drinking alcohol!). As a result of these excesses, grandparents rapidly gain excess weight. But the joints are no longer as flexible and elastic as they were at a young age, they can not withstand the increased load – there is a risk of developing osteoarthritis, and knee, and back pain.
  • Many pensioners in our country can not boast of high welfare, and with age, they stop paying attention to their own beds. Grandma or grandpa can sleep for years on some bumpy sofa or squashed mattress – and this prevents proper rest and relaxation in a dream and is also harmful to the back. For quality rest of the elderly, an orthopedic mattress and a suitable pillow are simply necessary.
  • Joint diseases in elderly patients cannot be treated separately from other diseases. During treatment, it is necessary to take into account all contraindications so that the treatment methods do not cause harm to the body instead of benefit.

Elderly care in the GalaxyHomeCareNY nursing home

In any GalaxyHomeCareNY boarding house, professional nurses take care of the guests. Residents receive treatment prescribed by their doctor. Nurses and staff also monitor the implementation of medical orders: they will remind you that you need to take medication on time or go for a walk. The therapist controls the pressure, pulse, and temperature of the residents. The medical center, which is a partner of the boarding house network, is always ready to receive guests in emergency cases for an ambulance.

The boarding houses provide a full and healthy diet with a varied and tasty menu, balanced in nutrient content: residents receive all the necessary proteins, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals. At the same time, the dishes are not only healthy but also tasty and beautifully served.

Those who live are not left to themselves: they are organized age-appropriate forms of leisure, and it is not only quiet board games, sitting in the library, and watching TV programs.

Guests are offered:

  • development of fine motor skills, which is useful for the elasticity of tissues and cartilage of the hands;
  • proportional physical activity, which improves the general condition and tone of the body;
  • walks in the fresh air, extremely useful for oxygenation of the body – as a result, blood circulation, metabolic processes, and physical condition improve.

Visit My Home Care if you’d like to know more about at home aged care services.

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