Treating Hand Ailments in the Elderly

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Many seniors notice swelling, inflammation, or soreness in their hands as they age. This can lead to a loss of manual dexterity, which can greatly impact a senior’s life. For seniors who are living with hand ailments, here are a few great ways to alleviate inflammation, pain, and other symptoms. 

Hand Braces

Seniors who have painful joint inflammation can wear a brace or splint. Braces can provide stability to overstressed joints, which minimizes pain and prevents injury. Open fingered arthritis gloves are ideal for seniors whose hand pain is caused by arthritis. Other braces are designed to treat carpal tunnel or wrist injuries. Whether hand pain is caused by arthritis, injury, or simply old age, there’s likely a splint that can ameliorate the situation. 

Aging adults with arthritis or other health conditions can benefit from professional in-home care. Denton home care experts are available to provide high-quality care to seniors on an as-needed basis. From assistance with mobility and exercise to providing transportation to the doctor’s office and social events, there are a variety of ways professional caregivers can help your aging loved one continue to live independently.

Creams and Ointments

There are many creams and ointments designed to reduce hand pain associated with arthritis. These creams are topical, which makes them especially useful for hand pain, as hand joints are right under the skin. They have a few primary ingredients like capsaicin, counterirritants, and salicylates. When combined, these ingredients decrease joint pressure, minimize swelling, soothe the skin, and block the skin’s ability to recognize pain. While these creams can be effective, they only work on a short-term basis. After a few hours, seniors must reapply the cream to the affected joints.

Performing daily tasks while simultaneously managing the symptoms of a serious illness can be challenging for seniors. The Denton live-in care experts at Home Care Assistance are available 24/7 to make sure your loved one has the care he or she needs to remain safe and comfortable while aging in place.

Heat and Cold Therapy

Seniors with stiff, painful hand joints may want to experiment with heat and cold therapy. These topical therapies work by stimulating the body’s ability to heal itself. When a heating pad is applied to the hands, it boosts blood circulation and dilates the blood vessels. When cold compresses are applied to the hands, the blood vessels constrict, which reduces swelling. Both heat and cold therapy are useful for pain in the hands. Some seniors prefer to get their heat therapy via heat patches, while others prefer to rest their hands in a hot bath. For cold therapy, seniors can choose between cold packs or nonflammable cooling sprays. 

Medications

Because inflammation is the root cause of hand ailments, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are one of the most popular treatments. NSAIDs reduce joint swelling and soreness and can be obtained over the counter. Corticosteroids can also manage painful inflammation. They work by providing the body with cortisone-like hormones, which boost joint health. These drugs require a prescription, and they can be taken orally or via localized injection.

When seniors develop hand ailments, their families are not always able to provide the care they need. Professional caregivers can assist your loved one with mobility and exercise, medication reminders, and daily activities. If you are the primary caregiver for a senior loved one in Denton, respite care is available when you need time away from your important caregiving duties. At Home Care Assistance, our respite caregivers are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to help your loved one manage everyday tasks in the comfort of home while you have the chance to take a much-needed break. To hire a licensed, professionally trained, and compassionate caregiver for your elderly loved one, call us at 972-468-6010 today.