Published by Steve Hedberg on June 12, 2009 Under arthritis
One of the most recognized disease associated with growing older is arthritis. While arthritis can actually affect people of any age, even children as young as only 1 year old, there are several types of arthritis that are much more common among the elderly, who are also at an increased risk for developing the disease.
While there are actually many different kinds of arthritis, some of which affect the bodies organs, the types of arthritis most commonly found in seniors affect the joints. For these common types of senior arthritis, like osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, Inflammation and swelling is common, as well as joint pain in the morning and again in the evening. Ultimately if left untreated, arthritis can be a very debilitating disease, although even in less severe cases it can be quite painful.
How Arthritis Can Make Standing Difficult
One very common effect of arthritis is that joint pain increases after the individual has not moved for an extended period of time. This can occur as the person is sitting and watching television or after they take a nap. Generally, the pain will subside after thirty minutes to an hour, but this type of pain can create a vicious cycle, where the senior does not move because it would be painful, which as a result causes more joint pain when they move again. This is one reason that low impact exercises are usually prescribed as a part of an arthritis treatment plan.
Lifting Aids for Arthritis Patients
To help make it easier to stand up for arthritic patients, many people use lift chairs in their home. These medical lifting aids allow the person to come to a standing position, without having to rely on others or risking their safety, by standing and falling.
A lift chair is basically an electronically controlled recliner, which also contains an electric lift system that raises the chairs frame into the air. Once the chair has been raised, the seated user can exit into a standing position. This type of lifting aid can remove the need to rely on a friend or relative to stand, which often adds an unsafe risk to these family members. They are also much safer than using a walker to provide support, which can slip and requires a great deal of upper-body strength to use.
Lift chairs are actually relatively new in the medical world, but have been around for over twenty years. Today, a number of safety features and improved lifting systems has greatly improved the overall service provided by these devices.
As an alternative to a lift chair, there are also seat lifts, which can provide a little boost when it is time to get up. A seat lift is basically like a special cushion that can be placed in most types of chairs. When activated, the cushion raises slightly, which can make it easier to stand, however seat lifts do not lift as high as lift chairs do, nor can they support as much weight. For a person who truly has difficulty standing without assistance, a lift chair is almost always the better choice. Seat lifts are relatively light weight and take up only a little bit of space, however, so they can be a good choice for traveling where it would not be possible to take a lift chair.
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