How to Care for Arthritis in Warm Weather

By Richard Hemmi, 9:00 am on

Seniors who have chronic medical conditions often have a difficult time handling warm and humid weather. Not only does the heat make it difficult to exercise, but it can also result in joint inflammation and dehydration. Before the weather gets too hot, seniors who have arthritis should come up with a comprehensive plan to manage their mobility issues, swelling, and discomfort. 

Skip the Sugary Drinks

Many seniors drink quite a bit of sweet tea and iced coffee during summer. The processed sugar found in these drinks can trigger joint inflammation and increase the risk of dehydration. Active seniors might need to drink 10 or more glasses of water a day to stay hydrated. 

Professional caregivers can help your loved one manage arthritis and offer you peace of mind. If your senior loved one has been diagnosed with a serious condition and needs help with tasks like meal prep, transportation, bathing, and grooming, reach out to Home Care Assistance, an in-home care provider Cleveland West, OH, families can trust. We also offer comprehensive care for seniors with dementia, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s.

Change Exercise Habits

As long as a doctor hasn’t given different instructions, older adults who have arthritis should continue to exercise as much as possible. If the warm weather is making it difficult to exercise, your loved one needs to start changing his or her training habits. Going for a brisk walk early in the morning or swimming a few laps in a pool can strengthen the joints. Seniors who get dizzy or nauseous while exercising should immediately seek out medical assistance. 

Aging adults who need help around the house and assistance with exercise can benefit from having a professional caregiver. If your senior loved one needs hourly or live-in care, Cleveland West Home Care Assistance can help. Our caregivers can assist with exercise and mobility, prepare nutritious meals, provide timely medication reminders, and help with a wide array of other important daily tasks.

Use R.I.C.E. Therapy During Flares

Many factors can cause an arthritis flare, including dehydration, heat exhaustion, malnutrition, and humidity levels. Most seniors need anti-inflammatory drugs to manage their flares, but they can also consider the R.I.C.E. method, which is designed to quickly reduce soft tissue and joint pain by resting (R), icing the area (I), compressing the joint (C), and elevating the extremity (E). This type of therapy can cool an individual down and prevent long-term soft tissue damage. 

Try Natural Cooling Products

As soon as your loved one’s internal temperature gets too high, his or her body could have a difficult time managing joint pain. Staying hydrated and sitting in a cool room are both great options, but there are many natural products that can lower the internal temperature as well. Cooling misters can be made with nothing more than a spray bottle and a few drops of eucalyptus or mint oil. Another option is an evaporative cooling towel that absorbs water and draws heat from the skin. 

Install a Dehumidifier

Barometric changes and high humidity levels have both been linked to some of the most common arthritis symptoms. Seniors who experience joint pain during warm months might be able to minimize their discomfort with a dehumidifier. These devices come in different sizes, and smaller ones can stabilize the humidity levels in a single room. Your loved one can also invest in a whole-home dehumidifier that is attached to the HVAC system.

If your loved is living with arthritis, provide the in-home care and support he or she needs to remain comfortable and safe. Some seniors need occasional assistance at home, and oftentimes the family members who take care of them need time away to run errands, take a nap, go to work, or take a vacation. Cleveland West, OH, respite care experts from Home Care Assistance are available on an as-needed basis, giving your family peace of mind that your loved one will remain safe and comfortable while you relax or focus on other important responsibilities. To learn about our premier elderly care plans, get in touch with our staff at (440) 455-4031 today.