Joint pain causes enough problems for your senior just by being painful and restricting her movement. But there are other complications that arise from that pain that you might not realize could be affecting your elderly family member. Delving deeper into these potential issues can help you to bring her the help she really needs.
Chronic Joint Pain Isn’t Just about Pain
Joint problems leave your senior experiencing pain, but they also hinder her mobility. She’s not able to move in the ways that she’s used to moving or that she wants to move. It can also be frustrating trying to treat the pain. Treatment methods might involve side effects that make her feel worse and that are only partly effective.
She May Have Poor Balance Because of Joint Issues
Joint pain and stiffness can cause your senior to have difficulty moving in the ways that her body is used to. That might mean that she compensates by limping or by moving in other uncomfortable ways. She may find that all of that throws her balance off, making her far more likely to experience a fall. This is one good reason why your senior should consider using assistive devices like canes, even if she doesn’t feel she needs one.
Being Active at All Might Be Impossible
Depending on the amount of pain involved and the joints that are affected, your senior may not be able to be active at all, especially in the ways that she was used to. This can be really upsetting for her if she enjoyed exercise or active hobbies, like gardening, in the past. This can contribute to the emotional impact of joint pain, including depression and anxiety.
Daily Activities and Routines Can Become Difficult or Impossible
Besides being physically active, your senior can have a tough time engaging in regular daily activities. Washing her hair can become impossible if she can’t move her arms above her shoulders, for instance. She may just stop trying to do those activities, but that’s not a good idea. It’s much better to help her to find solutions, such as bringing in elder care providers to help with personal care tasks instead of neglecting them.
If your elderly family member is experiencing other issues besides just pain and restricted movement, find out how else you can help her. Her doctor may have some ideas you can both use to improve your senior’s quality of life as much as possible.