Did you know that one in six Australians suffer with arthritis? That is 3.9 million people. There are over one hundred forms of arthritis, and each form can affect you and your joints in diverse ways.
The most crucial step to living with arthritis is understanding the type of arthritis you have and how it can be treated and managed.
‘Arthritis’ is the name given to a group of conditions affecting the joints. These conditions cause damage to the joints and usually result in pain and swelling, stiffness and reduced range of motion. Although there is no cure, arthritis can be treated and managed with medication and physiotherapy to help reduce symptoms and improve quality of life.
We have asked our team of Home Care experts who collaborate with clients with Arthritis for their best tips.
Bromilow Community Care Top Tips For living with Arthritis
- Get to know your disease
- Do not delay, see your doctor
- Work closely with your healthcare team
- Know about your treatment options
- Find new ways to stay active
- Seek support and counselling
- Look after and protect your joints
- Keep a healthy weight
- Get help with your home chores
- Learn new ways to manage your pain
Caring and Support with Arthritis
If you are currently supporting a loved one with Arthritis, it is important to understand that most people wish to remain as independent as possible. Trying to find the balance without being too overprotective can be a big challenge for carers.
We encourage carers to continually research Arthritis with the more you understand, the better you will be able to provide care and assistance. Arthritis Australia is a great resource to keep up to date with the latest research as well as hearing from multiple experts to help care for someone with Arthritis.
Looking for early signs and pain is key to support a loved one
Pain is often invisible, but you may see some of the following symptoms. If you do, it is best to reach out to a support network to help care for a loved one. Bromilow services is also a great online resource where you can find specific services for Home Care recipients.
Some early signs of Arthritis include:
- Wincing, frowning, or grimacing when moving about
- Holding or rubbing certain areas around joints
- Walking or moving with pain
- Irritability or mood changes post moving around
- Tiredness and disturbed sleep, often irritability first thing in the morning
- A lack of appetite
Communicating effectively is key to support
Effective communication is essential. It is important that you discuss with your loved one how you are both feeling on a regular basis. Often people with Arthritis can have days of no pain and days with extreme discomfort. Communication is key so you can judge how the person is feeling and adjust your care needs to respond effectively.
Taking care of the caregiver
It can sometimes seem like a daunting task, and it is important that carers take care of themselves and their own needs. Carers need to keep in mind that they are not alone and there are a number of support networks to help take the pressure from carers of feeling isolated and that the responsibility solely sits with them.
Collaborating with specialists can also help carers provide firsthand assistance for tasks such as personal care, getting out of the car and walking whilst learning certain techniques to minimise the risk of injury for both the person and carer.
Services and support networks
Arthritis is the second leading cause of disability in Australia. It is important that carers surround themselves with the right team to enable them to better help their loved ones. Depending on a carers availability and willingness to be involved with support, there are a number of options to choose from.
Occupational therapists and physiotherapists can advise on the safest and most practical ways to help support someone struggling with arthritis. They can assess your loved one’s homes for any potential risks, provide recommendations on assistive equipment, give recommendations for supplements to help ease pain and show other practical ways of managing everyday live with Arthritis.
Department of Human Services will be able to determine your eligibility for carer or disability support, as well as other concessions such as a Health Care Card. Visit www.humanservices.gov.au
Commonwealth Respite and CareLink Centres (CRCC) provide free and confidential information on local carer support, disability, and community services. They can also link you in to short-term, emergency, or regular respite care services. Call 1800 052 222 during business hours or 1800 059 059 outside business hours.
beyondblue has excellent resources and support services for people experiencing mental health challenges. Visit www.beyondblue.org.au or call the Support Service on 1300 22 4636 to talk to trained mental health professionals.
My Aged Care website and contact centre can help you understand what programmes and support services are available. Call 1800 200 422 or visit www.myagedcare.gov.au
Bromilow Community Care We provide expertise with Home Care recipients who need additional support at home with dealing with Arthritis. www.bromilow.com.au. Call 1300 158 242
Let Bromilow Community Care help you Arthritis
When it comes to supporting you, our wide network of allied health team and Home Care experts will help diagnose your arthritis and provide a treatment and pain management plan just for you.