Rheumatoid Arthritis, sometimes called RA, is a degenerative form of arthritis that can affect someone with RA’s entire health and outlook. It is not an easy condition to diagnose and can look like other illnesses. The symptoms are not consistent for RA and can fade and flare in some people, multiple rounds of testing may need to be done. While X-rays can show evidence of some forms of arthritis, RA will only show evidence of damaged joints after the disease has progressed. Many people diagnosed with RA are diagnosed early in life, however, there is also Elderly Onset Rheumatoid Arthritis (EORA).
Managing RA is best done early and aggressively, once damage is done to the joints it’s irreversible. Having said that, there are many ways to reduce the damage RA can do to your joints, slowing the effects of the degenerative nature of the disease. Here are a few to help when working your clients for home health care.
- Encouraging your client to exercise on a regular basis. This can be anything from walking to sitting exercises to help get blood flow to the joints and increase flexibility. Despite protests of pain in the joints, the movements are good to help lubricate the joints.
- Recommend acupuncture treatments. This will offer a natural painkiller as acupuncture boosts endorphins.
- If you have any input on diet as a home health care aide, add in plenty of inflammation reducing foods. There’s not a specific diet that’s recommended for RA, but reducing the amount of sugar intake and eating plenty of greens, fatty fish, nuts, olive oil, fruits. These foods are excellent at reducing inflammation.
- Working with their doctor and other care providers to help offer the best home health care you possibly can will allow you, as an aide, to know what to do with your client to manage their RA.