According to The National Psoriasis Foundation, approximately 30% of people who are diagnosed with Psoriasis will develop Psoriasis Arthritis (PsA). Unfortunately, seniors are not often diagnosed as quickly as they should be with Psoriasis. When there is a delay in treatment, the chance of developing PsA is much higher.
3 Ways to Manage Senior Psoriasis Arthritis
If you or a loved one has Psoriasis, you know there are different levels of severity to the skin condition. Similarly, PsA has mild to severe levels depending on how many joints it has affected. No matter where your Psoriasis may fall in the spectrum, there are a few ways to help manage the symptoms associated with it.
1. Pain Management
Inflammation brought on by Psoriasis or PsA can have short- and long-term effects on the joints such as swelling, pain, and irreversible damage. A few options are available for those suffering from Psoriasis to help manage the pain and accompanied inflammation.
Over the counter medications, such as Ibuprofen and Aspirin, can help reduce the swelling of joints as well as decrease pain and stiffness. Speak with your doctor before starting any new medications as they may have interactions with other prescriptions or illnesses. Let your doctor know if these medications are not helping; they may be able to prescribe something stronger or more effective.
When someone has a severe case of PsA or over the counter medications aren’t helping, a doctor may prescribe certain antidepressants. Antidepressants can reduce sensitivity to pain. Other medications used for neurological pain may also be made available as an option in certain situations.
Acupuncture and Meditation
Since PsA flare-ups can be caused by stress, some may find relief by controlling their anxiety and stress levels. Acupuncture and meditation can help seniors find peace and be mindful, but not overwhelmed, by the stressors in their lives.
Please note: no research has been done to prove acupuncture helps with PsA, but you can read more about the treatment benefits here.
As we get older, physical activity becomes increasingly difficult. When living with a condition, such as PsA, a senior’s ability to move can be decreased even more. Physical restrictions can lead to other illnesses such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
Simple exercises can help increase muscle mass, thereby limiting the stress on senior’s joints. Some exercise examples are listed below:
- Walking. A senior who can walk at least 10 minutes a day (e.g. around the mall, track, or neighborhood) can help build joint flexibility.
- Yoga. Yoga can help stretch out muscles and decrease stress. Chair yoga is designed to help those who have limited ability to get on the floor.
- Range of Motion. Exercises that allow seniors to stretch out their arms and legs also provides flexibility to the joints. Circling arms around while sitting in a chair is one way seniors can stretch out.
- Swimming. Swimming can help build strength, relax joints and sore muscles. The water helps support the body while exercising to relieve pressure and stress on the joints.
3. Household Modifications
When a senior has been diagnosed with PsA, a few changes should be made in their home. Small changes can help seniors who suffer from mild to severe cases of Psoriasis from exacerbating their symptoms. Consider the following list to modify in your own or your loved one’s home:
- Ask for help or refrain from lifting heavy items.
- Limit or get rid of rugs to prevent falls.
- Install grab bars in the bathroom by the shower and toilet.
- Install a raised toilet seat to make getting up and down easier.
- Reduce clutter to navigate around the house easily.
- Alter the height of any chairs or desks a senior may use.
How Can Senior Home Care Help?
Living with Psoriasis Arthritis can be more manageable with the help of a professional caregiver. In home care can assist seniors with services such as meal preparation, medication monitoring, transfers, and companionship. These are just a short list of all the services offered by Commonwise Home Care to help make sure your loved one is healthy and safe.
For more information on how Commonwise Home Care can assist with senior care management, please call 434.202.8565.
Disclaimer: Please check with your physician before making any changes to your diet, exercise, or medication routine.