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8 Prevention & Care Tips for Osteoarthritis from Right at Home Home Care and Support

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As Australia's leading quality home care provider, we are keeping you informed about Osteoarthritis. It is unfortunate but true that as most people get older, their likelihood of getting arthritis – a condition that causes pain and inflammation in the joints – increases.

According to a report by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (2007), Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common type of arthritis and affects more than 1.3 million Australians. It is a major cause of pain and disability. The disease is uncommon before the age of 45 years and mostly affects people aged 65 years or over. It is more common in females than in males. 

Arthritis is not a single disease, but rather a term that covers over 100 different conditions. The most common type (OA) mainly affects the hands, lower back, neck, and weight-bearing joints such as the knees, hips, and feet. OA causes the cartilage that cushions the ends of bones to wear away. This loss of cushioning between bones causes soreness, stiffness, and pain.

Major risk factors include:

  • Being female
  • Joint misalignment
  • Joint injury or trauma
  • Excess weight
  • Repetitive joint-loading tasks

Management of OA includes medication, physical therapy, weight loss for those who are overweight, and surgery: 

  • About 40% of Australians with OA use pharmaceuticals and 46% use dietary supplements.
  • To manage their OA, 20% of people exercise most days and 6% are trying to lose weight.
  • More than 41,000 total hip and knee replacements were performed for OA in 2004–05.

How Older People Can Manage Osteoarthritis

With the right preventive measures and care techniques, older adults can manage arthritis effectively, allowing for a more active and pain-free lifestyle.

1. Stay Active

Regular physical activity is vital in preventing and managing arthritis. Activities like walking, swimming, or gentle yoga can help maintain flexibility, strengthen muscles around the joints, and reduce overall pain. Remember, it is about movement, not about setting athletic records.

2. Eat a Healthy Diet

A balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins can help manage arthritis. Foods rich in antioxidants, omega-3 fatty acids, and vitamins can reduce inflammation and support joint health. Remember, a healthy weight reduces the strain on your joints.

3. Mind Your Joints

Use your larger or stronger joints to carry loads. For example, use a backpack or a trolley instead of carrying groceries with your hands. Ergonomic tools can also ease the strain on your joints during daily activities.

4. Use Medications and Other Treatments

Over-the-counter pain relievers and anti-inflammatory medications can help, but always consult with your doctor before starting any new medication. Heat treatments like warm towels, hot packs, or a warm bath can soothe stiff joints. Cold treatments such as ice packs can reduce joint swelling and pain.

5. Stay Hydrated

Staying hydrated helps keep the cartilage in your joints healthy and lubricated. Aim for at least eight glasses of water a day, more if you are active or it is hot.

6. Get Enough Sleep

A good night’s sleep can help reduce arthritis pain and fatigue. Create a restful environment, stick to a regular sleep schedule, and avoid caffeine and electronics before bed.

7. Manage Stress

Chronic stress can exacerbate arthritis symptoms. Techniques such as deep breathing, meditation, or gentle yoga can help keep stress levels in check.

8. Get Regular Check Ups

Regular visits to your health care provider are crucial. They can track the progression of your arthritis and adjust your treatment plan as needed.

Do Not Let OA Limit Your Lifestyle

Living with arthritis in your senior years does not mean giving up on your hobbies or an active lifestyle. By incorporating these prevention and care tips into your daily routine, you can manage arthritis effectively and continue to enjoy a fulfilling and active life.

Remember, the key is to stay proactive about your health. With the right approach, you can minimise the impact of arthritis and keep moving comfortably. Contact your local Right at Home office to learn how we can help you manage OA at home.

Keep up to date with COVID 19 information on the following links: 

Australian Government Department of Health 

Victorian Health and Human Services 

NSW Health 

Queensland Health 

ACT Health 

WA Department of Health 

Tasmanian Department of Health 

Northern Territory Department of Health 

SA Health 

Founded in 1995, Right at Home offers in-home companionship and personal care, and assistance to seniors (elderly and aged care), and any adult who needs our care at home including adults living with a disability who want to continue to live independently or age in their home. Right at Home is your local expert for issues related to caring for your loved ones and is dedicated to keeping you informed about home care. With no package management fees, Right at Home allows you to get more care from your package or budget. 

Right at Home is a 'My Aged Care' government approved, home care provider for levels 1 – 4 and offers flexible in-home care services such as nursing care, after hospital care, post-operative care, respite care, dementia and Alzheimer's care. Right at Home also offers assistance with daily living and personal care such as grooming, hygiene, transport, shopping, meal prep, domestic services and social support, so your loved one can enjoy a more independent, vibrant life. Our nurses and caregivers are screened, highly trained, and insured prior to entering your home so you can trust us with the caregiving while you focus on your loved one. 

To find out more, please give us a call on 1300 363 802 or visit our website. 

Right at Home Offices in Australia: ACT & Queanbeyan; ACT Canberra; Adelaide Central; Brisbane Bayside; Brisbane North; Brisbane South; Brisbane West; Central Queensland & Wide Bay; Central West New South Wales; Darling Downs; Far North Queensland; Gold Coast North; Gold Coast South; Gosford; Greater Logan; Hunter & Port Stephens; Ipswich Lockyer Valley; Kalgoorlie Wheatbelt; Macarthur Penrith; Mackay; Melbourne Brighton: Melbourne Glen Waverley; Melbourne North; Moreton Bay Region; Newcastle; Noosa, Gympie & Hinterland; Northern Rivers; Padstow St George; Perth Midland; Perth Northern Suburbs; Perth South Eastern Suburbs; Perth West Coast; Southern NSW; Southwest Victoria; Sunshine Coast; Sydney Central & Eastern Suburbs; Sydney Five Dock; Sydney Inner West; Sydney Liverpool; Sydney Lower North Shore; Sydney Northern Beaches; Sydney Norwest; Sydney Parramatta; Sydney Ryde; Sydney Sutherland Shire; Sydney The Hills; Sydney Upper North Shore; Townsville; 

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