Arthritis and the Risk of Falls with the Elderly

senior with arthritis

A sad reality is that countless older adults are plagued by arthritis and chronic joint pains. As a matter of fact, many Alert1 members have expressed their concerns about aging in place while suffering from arthritis.

The harsh truth is that although you can temporarily relieve the pain with a senior aspirin regimen, there is no official cure for arthritis.

Do you know an older adult suffering from arthritis? Have you noticed any symptoms of impaired mobility with your aging loved ones? If so, Alert1's fall detection system can help protect your senior when the unthinkable happens.

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How Arthritis Impacts Older Adults

arthritis hands

According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), arthritis is inflammation of the joints caused by the breakdown of cartilage. This cartilage is what protects bones from rubbing against one another. 

  • There are a number of different forms of arthritis. The three common forms are: osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, or gout. Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic, autoimmune disease that can do a fair amount of damage. 
  • The most common symptoms of arthritis are joint pain, swelling, stiffness and reduced mobility - all of which can increase the risk of falling. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that one in three older adults over 65 will fall each year. That risk increases for older adults who are living with arthritis.
  • The risk of falling is 2.4 times more likely for people who have arthritis, according to Arthritis ACT, a non-profit awareness group in Australia. This is due to poor balance, increased pain levels and a loss of strength.

Fall Risks and Prevention Tips for Arthritis Sufferers

stairs with clutter

At Alert1, we want to reduce the risk of senior falls. That starts by reducing hazards in the home that could lead to falls. Some manageable risk factors to prevent falls include:

  • Poor lighting. Be sure to replace lightbulbs or add night lights in high traffic areas around the home. This is especially important for older adults with impaired vision.
  • Unsafe stairways. One popular prevention method for seniors is to install a lift. The stairway chair lift is a simple way to manage fall risk for seniors. 
  • Missing handrails. Hand rails are extremely helpful for the unsteady senior. Install handrails in the problem areas around the home for your loved one to keep a firm grip and footing.
  • Improperly labeled medicines. Improper doses of prescribed drugs can lead to potential senior falls or greater health consequences. With our Amy medication dispenser, your older adult can keep track of their regularly scheduled medicine regimen.
  • Clutter. Keeping walkways clear and clutter free is essential in preventing senior falls. A clear path will ensure that your loved one is able to move about the home more freely.
  • Poorly designed furniture, including unstable or low back chairs. You’ve sat on the chair with the shorter leg, or rickety back cushion. Unstable furniture only increases fall risk as older adults have skewed depth perceptions.
  • Wet, waxed or irregular floors. For seniors, slippery floors and hard surfaces in the bathroom and kitchen are especially hazardous. Non-skid mats or mats with slip-resistant backing help combat slick or waxed floors. 

The Alert1 Fall Prevention infographic provides simple tips to avoid falls at home in an easy-to-read format.

Alert1 Medical Alerts Provide Help to Arthritis Sufferers In Case of Emergency

mother with medical alert

All individuals who suffer from arthritis and joint pain should consider purchasing a medical alarm system. This way, if they fall while no one is around and cannot reach a phone, they will still receive the help they need.

All they need to do is press the help button on their wearable medical alarm pendant to contact emergency responders, and in no time help will arrive.

An emergency monitoring system not only helps seniors and older adults get assistance in the event of an emergency, but it also offers peace of mind.

As more seniors are choosing to continue living independently at home, they and their family caregivers will feel secure knowing that their medical alarm system provides access to help at any given moment.

Should a senior with arthritis fall or otherwise injure themselves, Alert1 will guarantee they get the help they need in the fastest and most efficient way possible.