If you have an elderly loved one who suffers from the aches and pains of osteoarthritis, then you may find yourself wishing that their health problems could just "go away." It can be tough knowing that a loved one is having health issues that you can't do anything to ease, but realize that you can help them in some ways, including helping them maintain their personal care independence. As the aches and pains that come with age worsen, even simple personal care tasks can become difficult, which can lead to a feeling of helplessness or low self-esteem. Read on to learn two ways you can help your elderly loved one maintain their independence so they don't have to feel helpless every time they are attempting to perform their personal care routine.
1. Help Them Have a Bathtub with a Door Installed in Their Bathroom
If you notice that your loved one seems to be taking fewer baths and showers than they did a few years ago and they suffer from osteoarthritis, then that is a sign that they may be having trouble getting into and out of their bathtub. To a healthy person who doesn't suffer from arthritis, lifting your legs high enough to step over the edge of the bathtub and into it may seem like such a simple task, but when your loved one's joints are achy and stiff, lifting their legs and bending their knees to step over that ledge may just be too painful.
An easy way to help your loved one enter their bathtub as often as they would like to without having to worry about putting unneeded stress on already achy knees and legs is to help them have a bathtub with a door installed in their bathroom. Often called "walk-in tubs," bathtubs with doors come in many sizes and styles. If your loved one has a small bathroom, then you can help them find one that is the same size and shape of their current bathtub, but just has a handy door on the exterior wall of it that your loved one can easily open when they enter the tub and close when they get inside.
If your loved one's bathroom is large, then you may want to encourage them to upgrade to a large spa-like bathtub with a door. Soaking in warm water can greatly ease the aches and pains of arthritis, and when they have a large, spa-like tub, they may greatly enjoy relaxing in the water every morning or evening for all-natural pain relief.
If your loved one has reduced skin sensitivity due to diabetes or you just want to be sure they don't soak in water that is too hot, then consider placing a bath thermometer in the tub that they can check when they draw their warm water; tell them to make sure the water temperatures does not reach 104-degrees F or higher, because this signals that the water is too hot and is hazardous to their health.
2. Have a Toilet Seat Raiser and Bidet Installed on Their Toilet
Seniors with arthritis can also have difficulty using a toilet without experiencing unnecessary pain. The simple motion of sitting on the toilet that everyone who is young and healthy may take for granted also requires excessive bending of arthritic knees, and wiping up after using the toilet can be painful for seniors with aching shoulders, elbows, and/or hands.
A simple toilet seat raiser placed on top of your senior's traditional toilet seat reduces the amount of knee-bending required to sit on the seat. To help make wiping pain-free, a bidet offers a great solution that eliminates their need to wipe with traditional toilet paper or wipes altogether. If your loved one would prefer to wipe with traditional toilet paper, then there are special toilet tissue holders that have long, curved handles; your loved one can clip the toilet tissue on the tip of the device and then wipe without having to reach their arm around their body and aggravate arthritic joints.
If you have an elderly loved one who suffers from arthritis, then realize that while you can't "take their pain away," you can follow these tips to help them perform their personal care routine without triggering unnecessary additional arthritis pain.Share
11 January 2017
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