Living with arthritis is challenging in many ways, especially for the elderly. As a result, even carrying out basic tasks, such as getting dressed and cooking meals, can be difficult. Add to that the constant pains and aches of arthritis, and it isn't difficult to see why arthritis can lead to depression.
The inability of elderly arthritis sufferers to live a normal life, one with dignity, means that this painful condition causes mental as well as physical issues. Unable to care for themselves and their home in the way they would like means that depression and illness are never far away.
Fortunately, with the provision of personal care, elderly arthritis sufferers can retain their dignity and confidence.
Getting Dressed and Applying Make-Up
For an arthritis sufferer, basic tasks can become joyless, exhausting chores. For those in chronic pain, getting dressed is a daily struggle. Similarly, for elderly women that want to maintain their appearance, applying make-up might not be possible without assistance. This inability to care for their appearance is likely to contribute to depression.
According to a recent study published in the International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, most older adults with arthritis also suffer from depression. Since dignity and self-respect is linked to your self-esteem, it makes sense that the inability to dress or apply make-up could, eventually, lead to depression.
But what if such a person were to receive assistance when caring for their appearance? This is something that a personal carer can do—assist an elderly person with arthritis to ensure that they can still take pride in their appearance.
Cooking and Eating
Arthritis doesn't just lead to depression—it can also lead to poor nutritional choices. Working over a hot oven and using cooking utensils to stir and flip food is something that comes easily to most people. However, for an elderly arthritis sufferer, cooking is challenging, not to mention dangerous.
Without assistance then, an older adult with arthritis may very well give up on cooking altogether and instead opt to eat microwave foods or processed foods. This is a problem because food can both help and hinder arthritis sufferers. For instance, many processed foods are high in calories, leading to weight gain and additional stress on already stressed joints.
Fortunately, a personal carer or nurse can carry out tasks such as cooking and food preparation. They can also carry out shopping trips to purchase healthier food options, such as bell peppers, pumpkins and oranges, all of which help to reduce the inflammation caused by arthritis.
Getting in and out of Bed
For some, even climbing out of and into bed can be painful and awkward, leading to sleep loss. If getting into bed is too much of a struggle, sufferers may sleep in a chair instead, leading to back pain, as well as a sense of helplessness. Similarly, for those that struggle to climb out of bed in the morning, each day may start with pain.
Ultimately, without assistance, this struggle could become a serious issue that deprives sufferers of sleep, making them unhappy and unhealthy. However, by hiring a nurse to be there both morning and evening, to assist with getting up and getting dressed or undressed, etc., much of this suffering can be alleviated.
A Carer for All Occasions
Modern personal carers in Australia are very well trained across the scope of aged and disability care. It is also possible to hire a carer for very short time periods, during which they can assist with tasks that might otherwise be impossible. If you are worried that an elderly relative or friend is struggling to care for himself or herself, hire a personal carer.
Remember, arthritis can lead to depression. Don't let that happen. Hire a personal carer for your relative if you think they could benefit from some assistance at home.