Owners' Blog

Here's What Rheumatoid Arthritis is Really Like

By Hilary Eldridge

A diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis is stressful. For the senior, thoughts of pain and discomfort cause fear. For the family member, the true extent of the disease's crippling effects are unknown. One elderly woman found that rheumatoid arthritis led to challenges she'd never imagined.

Rheumatoid arthritis is a disease where the immune system sees tissue in the joints as an intruder. The body's immune system then attacks the joints leading to pain and inflammation. It's a disease that is more common in women and usually presents itself in a person's 60s.

What Brought Her to the Doctor

In this case, the aging mom of three found himself struggling to do things she'd never found challenging. Her joints felt sore and ached all day long, but she figured that was just normal arthritis since she'd turned 65 a few months earlier.

It was when she found it hard to bend her arm and that her fingers were no longer flexible that she started wondering if it was more. She struggled to fold towels and hold a utensil when cooking dinner. When she found herself in a lot of pain and limping after getting out of bed each morning, she decided to see a doctor.

Changes She'd Never Expected

Joint pain and inflammation were just the start of her problems. As her fingers stiffened up, getting in and out of the bathtub was hard. Even with grab bars, actually curling her fingers around the bar was difficult. She struggled to hold a toothbrush and maintain proper oral hygiene.

She learned that her rheumatoid arthritis put her at a higher risk for heart disease and congestive heart failure. Cooking heart-healthy meals was hard, so she had to rely on caregivers to chop foods for her and help her with the cooking. She felt helpless. She felt angry that she couldn't do what she wanted to do.

Her Family Arranged Home Care to Change Her Life

As she started to feel depressed and sad about her situation, her family called a senior care agency to discuss the benefits of caregivers. They decided that once a week, caregivers could come in and help with housework, meal preparation, and trips to the grocery store. It changed her life, and she gained companionship in a place she never expected to find a friend.

Does your mom have rheumatoid arthritis? Aging at home is possible with the help of caregivers. Hire caregivers to help you with the tasks your mom finds most challenging. She may have an incurable disease, but it doesn't have to stop her from living life to the fullest.

If you or an aging loved one are considering hiring caregivers in Lilburn, GA, please contact the caring staff at Home Helpers, call (678) 430-8511.