The early warning signs of arthritis can be difficult to recognize. However, the earlier arthritis is diagnosed the sooner in can be treated. If you begin noticing any of the following signs in your senior loved one, fast action is important to preserve mobility and help manage pain.
1. Difficulty climbing stairs
The knee is the body’s largest joint, and the second-most common place to be affected by osteoarthritis. Many patients experience the beginning of arthritis as pain or difficulty while going up or down stairs, as well as limping or trouble remaining steady while walking or standing.
2. Sudden pain in the big toe
As a caregiver, recognize that sudden complaints of intense pain in a single joint–usually the big toe–are usually an attack of gout. Gout is the second-most common type of arthritis and a common form of inflammatory arthritis. The joint that is affected is often red, tender and hot to the touch.
3. Stiffness in the morning
While most people have some stiffness in the morning, being unable to move for 30 minutes or longer in the morning is a sign of rheumatoid arthritis, which, unlike osteoarthritis, actually feels better the more a person moves.
4. Bumps on the fingers
Bony spurs may develop on finger joints in the beginning stages of arthritis. Sometimes these bumps appear on the base of the thumb, but they typically develop on the last joint or middle joint.
5. Pain interfering with sleep
Even for Placer County live-in caregivers, this symptom can be difficult to notice, although you may observe a senior loved one has trouble getting to sleep, wakes up often, or even begins to avoid activities he or she usually enjoys.
6. Difficulty using hands
Even in the beginning stages, arthritis can make the hands achy and difficult to use. Many seniors have trouble turning a key in a lock, holding a doorknob or buttoning a shirt.
7. Fatigue and fever
Many seniors complain of chronic fatigue in the early stages of arthritis, along with weight loss, loss of appetite and a fever that may persist for several weeks. Low-grade fevers along with joint inflammation and pain are a symptom of rheumatoid arthritis. If the fever is above 100 degrees F, it is most likely an infection.
To learn more about senior health or find an hourly caregiver from Placer County, CA Home Care Assistance who can help your senior loved one with daily responsibilities, reach out to a trusted Care Manager at 916.226.3737. Our caregivers are highly trained and can cook, provide transportation, and keep up on basic housework, making day-to-day life easier, safer, and more comfortable for your senior loved one.