People with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) often start their day with stiff joints that can make it difficult to get out of bed and go about their usual activities. The morning stiffness of RA typically lasts an hour or more. Though it does eventually go away, most older adults would prefer to find ways to ease the stiffness and get moving sooner.
Below are 5 tips that will help to soothe your aging relative’s stiff joints and start every day off a little better.
#1: Stay in Bed Another Hour
Okay, let’s be clear, this tip doesn’t mean that simply sleeping in a little longer will make RA stiffness go away. Instead, the older adult should set their alarm for an hour before the usual time they get up in the morning. When it goes off, they should take their medication and eat a small snack, then reset the alarm for when they want to get up and go back to sleep. This will take some planning ahead, though, and an elder care provider can help. Before the senior goes to bed at night, an elder care provider can remind them to place their morning pain or anti-inflammatory medications on the bedside table where they can be reached without getting out of bed. The elder care provider can also put a glass or bottle of water on the table along with a small snack to prevent stomach upset.
#2: Get Moving Before Getting Out of Bed
Before getting out of bed, it can be helpful to do some gentle stretches and move joints through their range of motion. Try to move all major joints, including the neck, shoulders, elbows, wrists, etc. Once all joints have been stretched and moved, the older adult should be able to get out of bed with less pain. An elder care provider can help them to stand up from the bed without worrying about falling.
#3: Take a Warm Bath
Soaking in a warm bath for 10 to 20 minutes can ease the stiffness of joints. However, getting in and out of the bath safely can be complicated when joints don’t move properly and are painful. An elder care provider can assist the senior in and out of the bath to prevent a fall.
#4: Warm Clothes Before Dressing
Before the older adult gets dressed in the morning, an elder care provider can put their clothes for the day in the dryer for a few minutes to warm them up. The warm fabric will feel good on stiff joints and help them to move more easily.
#5: Ask for Help
Even after taking steps to reduce morning stiffness, your older family member may still need some help until joints are moving more easily. When an elder care provider is present, they’ll always have someone to turn to for assistance.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering Elder Care Services in Michigan, please talk to the caring staff at Hope Senior Home Care today 313.881.3132.