Archive for medical conditions

How to Tell Your Parents They Need Senior Care

older mother and daughterAs years pass by, you will notice that the physical vigor of your parents starts to diminish. The used-to-be strong and healthy people would start to exhibit weaknesses and would experience different health related problems. It is very crucial for you to monitor the day to day activities of your parents. Signs of aging start to manifest in a myriad of ways. With ailing health along with physical incapacities, you will start to think of providing senior care for them. Sometimes, this appears unnoticeable where you might think everything is just normal.

But there are certain occurrences that will lead you to think that your parents need proper senior care. You need to monitor them regularly. If this is the case, you need to provide quality care for your parents. How would you tell them that they need senior care?

1. Dementia/Alzheimer’s Disease

Once your parents are diagnosed with either dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, a condition where a patient slowly loses his or her memory, you can expect that this medical condition can lead to serious complications if not handled the right way. Apart from undergoing medications and other treatments, senior care is definitely important. People with this medical condition have a hard time remembering even the most important details in their lives. Some elders do not see the importance of having senior care because they think they are still healthy. But with the prescription and medical advice of a doctor, you can easily talk to them about the matter.

2. Difficulties in Doing the Usual Routines

Due to their old age, you can already start to notice that they are having a hard time walking or moving around the house. There are instances where they can no longer do their basic and usual routines. This is where the importance of senior care comes in. A professional senior care provider can definitely help your parents in their grooming and other hygiene routines. Some elders find it extremely difficult to mobilize and to even move. Most seniors would insist that they do their routines on their own. In this aspect, you need to be really patient and you can just provide the kind of assistance that they need without making them feel like they cannot do anything.

3. Drastic Weight Loss

Not all elders suffer from any illness. There are just some who need proper care and attention. This is actually normal for seniors. Without any assistance, there is a high tendency for most elders to have poor diet and end up experiencing drastic weight loss. Since you want to make sure that they are always healthy, you need to provide the right meals and other supplements. With proper senior care, every aspect of your parent’s daily life will be handled with utmost care. If your parents are hesitant, you can always encourage them to look better and to be more physically active.

4. Loss of Interest in Hobbies and Other Physical Activities

When you get old, the tendency is for you to lose enthusiasm to do the activities that you used to do. If your parents do not suffer from any medical condition, it helps to improve and invigorate their senses whenever they do their usual hobbies. If you notice your parents losing interest in physical activities, there might be something wrong and you might be lacking in physical care and attention for them.

This article was written by Artchee Mendoza exclusively for this site. Artchee also writes for www.signatureseniorcare.com, a Jacksonville Home Nursing Care.

Image courtesy of graur razvan ionut / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Arthritis in Seniors and How it Affects Your Bone Function

senior health careApproximately one of every four seniors will be affected by arthritis. The most common forms of this degenerative joint disorder diagnosed in seniors are osteoarthritis, caused by injury or excessive joint wear, and rheumatoid arthritis, an autoimmune disease. Both cause deterioration in the joints over time and when they affect weight-bearing joints, such as the knees or hips, can lead to disability. However, proper diagnosis and care can slow the progression of arthritis, minimizing damage to cartilage, joints and bones and lessening the odds of needing joint replacement surgery.

Arthritis Basics

Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis in seniors and is typically caused by gradual wear-and-tear damage to the joint over many years. Other factors, such as previous joint injury or congenital joint defects, can contribute to its development. In osteoarthritis, cartilage that cushions the joints is damaged or worn away, eventually allowing bones to grind together as the joint moves, causing pain, inflammation and stiffness. Over time, that stress and inflammation can lead to bone overgrowth around the joint or the development of bone spurs, which make the joint more painful and can significantly impair movement.

Rheumatoid Arthritis is caused by a malfunctioning immune system that attacks joint linings, causing severe inflammation. Over time, that inflammation causes joint deterioration, damaging the joint lining, cartilage and often causing bone deformity. Affected joints can become red, swollen and warm to the touch, as well as stiff and painful. Stiffness and pain are typically worst for the first hour or two after waking in the morning, improving gradually as the day progresses.

Treatments

Anti-inflammatory medications are used in both forms of arthritis to control inflammation, stiffness and pain. For rheumatoid arthritis, disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs are used to slow disease progression. Topical ointments, heat packs and ice packs are often used to ease symptoms.

Physical therapy is an integral part of treatment for both conditions. Reduced activity due to pain causes weakening in the muscles that support the hip and knee, as does inflammation. That weakness can increase joint wear, damage, pain and stiffness. Exercise is used to strengthen those muscles, increasing joint support for better joint alignment, stability and function.

Joint replacement surgery is the treatment of last resort, used when arthritis has become disabling and lesser treatments are no longer effective. As with any surgery, there are risks involved with knee or hip replacement. Being well-informed can help minimize those risks.

One aspect that is particularly important for seniors to learn about is implant types, especially in hip replacement. Faulty metal-on-metal implants have been problematic lately. Metallic implant debris has caused metallosis in some patients, a condition that occurs as debris builds up in the soft tissues of the hip, which can cause severe pain and inflammation, as well as tissue and bone death.

Several metal-on-metal implants have been recalled, including the DePuy ASR hip replacement systems, popular products that were used in thousands of patients. Some of them have had to undergo more surgery to replace the faulty implants, a costly and painful procedure, and hundreds of DePuy lawsuits have been filed.

Elizabeth Carrollton writes about defective medical devices and dangerous drugs for Drugwatch.com.