Arthritis is the general term for inflammation affecting joints. Chemicals the body generates in response to inflammation often result in swelling that can make movements painful. While rheumatoid arthritis (RA), the most common form of arthritis, may be inherited, there are certain lifestyle habits that can also contribute to arthritis.
Recent research suggests people with a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or higher are at increased risk for developing RA. Excess weight places added pressure on joints, increasing discomfort. On a related note, the following foods may also contribute to arthritis pain:
- Fried and processed foods
- Sugar and refined carbs
- Salt and preservatives
Excessive Alcohol Consumption
Drinking too much alcohol affects enzymes in the liver, which can change the way medications your loved one may be taking for arthritis work within the body. The general rule of thumb for moderate alcohol consumption is one drink per day for women and two for men.
A Swedish study suggests smoking is a contributing factor in a third of all RA cases. Smoking can also reduce the effectiveness of some arthritis medications, indirectly contributing to increased joint pain. People with a certain gene variation (HLA-DRB1) are also more likely to develop some forms of arthritis.
If your aging loved one needs help managing everyday tasks or encouragement to adopt healthier lifestyle choices, turn to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of elder care. Home Care Assistance provides professional in-home caregivers around the clock to help seniors live longer, happier, and healthier lives.
Lack of Sleep
A recent study links a lack of sleep to increased symptoms in people with RA. A lack of significant recuperative sleep, which occurs in the REM sleep stage, can also contribute to making unhealthy eating decisions later in the day, further aggravating inflammation around joints. Aging adults should get at least seven hours of uninterrupted sleep each night.
For seniors with health conditions that make it difficult to sleep through the night, having a professional caregiver close by can provide a sense of comfort. For many seniors in Waterloo, ON, live-in care is an essential component of aging in place safely and comfortably. However, it’s important for them to have caregivers they can trust and rely on. At Home Care Assistance, we extensively screen all of our live-in and 24-hour caregivers and only hire those who have experience in the senior home care industry. Our strict requirements ensure seniors can remain in the comfort of home with a reduced risk of injury or serious illness.
Any type of stress, regardless of the source, produces chemicals within the body that can make arthritis inflammation worse. While stress can’t always be avoided, yoga and other controlled forms of relaxation like light exercise and meditation can counter the effects of daily stress.
Because of the higher risk of arthritis, decreased immunity, and other health concerns, seniors should watch their weight, get plenty of sleep, and keep stress at a minimum to maintain optimal health. There are a variety of age-related health conditions that can make it more challenging for seniors to live independently. However, many of the challenges they face can be easier to manage if their families opt for professional at-home care. Waterloo families can rely on expertly trained caregivers to keep their loved ones safe and comfortable while aging in place. If your loved one needs professional care, Home Care Assistance is here to help. Call us today at (519) 954-2111 to discuss how we can give you the peace of mind that comes from knowing your loved one is being cared for with professionalism and compassion.