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Are you caring for someone with arthritis?

Are you caring for someone with arthritis? Exercise can help get stiff joints moving, strengthen surrounding muscles, improve flexibility and build stronger bones. This can improve mood and attitude and enable your loved one to participate in daily chores. Exercise can help people feel more in charge of themselves and that helps build self-confidence. Many patients feel controlled by the disease. They become dependent on other people to help with daily chores and can feel frustrated by the need to ask for help. Add frustration to the daily pain associated with arthritis, and they may feel stress and fatigue. Depression and anger quickly follow and that can place strain on relationships with friends and family. As caregivers, we need to be encouraging and empathetic towards our loved ones.

Exercise can be an effective way to help them regain control. There are many types of arthritis so exercise needs to be tailored to each individual so consult with your healthcare provider to develop a plan of care. The focus should be to improve the overall quality of the person's life. It is much easier to be a caregiver when the person you care for feels good about his(her)self and has less pain.