Understanding the Effects of Arthritis and Alzheimers

Published by Steve Hedberg on August 9, 2010 Under Senior Health

As part of the aging process, it is normal for certain tasks to become more difficult and for changes to occur in the body. These changes are normal and often involve the slowing of responses to outside stimulus, which is the result of changes to the nervous system and brain. Typically, these changes do not have an impact on the underlying intelligence of a person, although they can slow down the response time to certain types of stimulus.

However, while many of the changes that occur to an aging person are normal, there is an increased risk of developing certain diseases, such as arthritis and Alzheimer’s. Arthritis is the most common disease to affect the elderly, although it should be noted that people of all ages can develop arthritis, even very young children. There are more than one hundred different types of arthritis, although among the elderly, rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis are the two most common kinds.

Alzheimer’s, on the other hand, is a type of dementia that is much less common in those who are under fifty. In most cases when someone who is not elderly develops Alzheimer’s, it is the result of some sort of head or brain injury. Alzheimer’s effects the way the brain works and can have a significant effect on the way a senior processes information. When diagnosing Alzheimer’s, it is important to keep in mind that there are a number of other factors, such as certain types of Anemia, that can cause Alzheimer like symptoms. So, it is important to rule out pseudodementia, or fake dementia, as the treatment varies significantly.

Even though the effects of Alzheimer’s and Arthritis vary greatly in terms of the effects on the body, both can have an impact on the way a senior gets around. These can make many daily tasks, even those as simple as moving from room to room, much more difficult. Difficulty moving is often most associated with arthritis though, which is a joint disorder that can make bending and moving the affected joints not only difficult, but also very painful.

To help improve mobility, there are a number of different tools available. For instance, many seniors use rollators, or rolling-walkers, which can make it much safer for a senior to get around. Rollators look somewhat like traditional walkers, except there are wheels on the legs of the walker base. This greatly improves the efficiency and safety of the walker, as the senior no longer needs to pick it up and reposition it each time they move. Instead, they can push the rollator forward and would only need to lift it up when navigating things like curbs or other significant obstacles. Rollators also feature hand-brakes that can be used to stop the wheels from moving and can be locked in place, so they do not have to be constantly held. Most rollators also include a small sturdy bench that can provide a comfortable place to sit, while still being able to be folded up when not in use.

Many such types of home medical equipment exist, including other tools like bath lifts and lift chairs, which are designed to help make life easier for seniors who have arthritis, dementia, or otherwise suffer from limited mobility. These sorts of tools can greatly improve safety and accessibility, while still preserving a seniors sense of independence.

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