Tips for Managing Arthritis in Elderly Individuals

Category: Assisted Living

An elderly woman experiencing wrist pain due to arthritis.

According to the CDC, 47% of seniors age 65 and older have arthritis. Arthritis affects the joints in the wrists, knees, hips, and other areas, creating inflammation, stiffness, and pain. Learning to live with this incurable condition and manage it effectively is essential to ensuring a decent quality of life.

Contact Haven Health today for assistance in managing arthritis. 

What Impacts Does Arthritis Have on the Elderly?

While arthritis can affect anyone at any age, its impacts on seniors can harm their emotional, mental, and physical well-being. This condition can make it more difficult for the elderly to maintain independent living and require them to move into an assisted living facility or skilled nursing facility. However, before reaching this stage, there are several things seniors can do to help maintain their independence.

Elderly Arthritis Tips for Managing Arthritis

When you or a loved one has arthritis, there are several elderly arthritis tips to help manage your condition, including:

  • Exercise daily: Movement helps keep joints more flexible. It can also help prevent inflammation and swelling associated with arthritis. The exercises do not have to be strenuous and can be as simple as daily walking.
  • Use assistive devices when walking: A cane or walker can relieve added pressure on the hip joints
  • Avoid sitting for extended periods: Do not sit for more than an hour at a time. After an hour, get up and move around to keep joints from stiffening.
  • Use in-home assistive devices: A shower chair, lifting recliner, and raised toilet all help take stress off the joints and make it easier to get up and down
  • Avoid repetitive motions: Repetitive movements and motions aggravate the joints and increase inflammation and pain
  • Know your limitations: Do not push yourself to the point where you experience pain when moving. Pay attention to what you can do and move at a pace that best suits your needs.
  • Consider different medications: Certain medications can help manage arthritic symptoms and alleviate inflammation and pain. Talk to your healthcare provider to find out more.
  • Eat a well-balanced and nutritious diet: Eating healthy and nutritious foods is important to ensure the body gets the necessary vitamins and minerals. There are also arthritis-friendly foods you should include in your diet.
  • If overweight, go on a supervised diet: Taking excess weight off joints can help alleviate pain and discomfort. Before dieting, talk to your healthcare provider and follow their recommendations.
  • Use supportive devices when needed: You can use different braces to help alleviate arthritis pain in the wrists, knees, and elbows
  • Make your home more arthritis-friendly: Change door knobs to ones with a handle, get an automatic can opener, use zipper pulls, and make other updates that make it easier for you to maintain your independence
  • Discover new ways of doing things with occupational therapy: Occupational therapy can help you regain skills and learn new ways of doing things when you have arthritis to maintain your independence

What Foods Make Arthritis Worse?

There are several foods you should avoid eating or only have in moderation when you have arthritis, including:

  • Sugar: Sugar is found in many types of foods. While it can be impossible to avoid entirely, you should avoid sweet treats, sugary sodas and fruit juices, and anything else high in sugar or added sugars.
  • Saturated fats: Pizza, cheese, red meat, and full-fat dairy products should be limited
  • Trans fats: Trans fats are found in many processed foods, frozen foods, margarine, donuts, and even cookies. Trans fats lower “good” cholesterol levels and trigger inflammatory responses in the body.
  • Omega 6 fatty acids: While the body needs Omega-6 fatty acids in moderation, excessive amounts should be avoided
  • Refined carbohydrates: Refined carbs often include additional sodium and sugars that are not good for the body
  • Processed foods: Any processed foods should be avoided as much as possible

List of Foods To Avoid With Arthritis

Remembering to read the nutrition labels on every food item you buy can be time-consuming. To help, here is a list of foods you should try to avoid or only consume occasionally when you have arthritis:

  • Cakes
  • Cookies
  • Jams and jellies
  • Ketchup
  • Barbecue sauces
  • Mayonnaise
  • Fast food
  • Deli meats
  • Potato chips
  • Pizza
  • Hamburgers and cheeseburgers
  • Hot dogs
  • Tomatoes
  • Bell peppers
  • Eggplant
  • Potatoes
  • Any fried foods
  • Liver
  • Anchovies
  • Tuna
  • Scallops
  • Sardines
  • Beer and alcohol
  • Bacon
  • Crackers
  • Beef
  • Lamp
  • Pork
  • Veal

How Do You Stop Arthritis from Progressing?

Even though arthritis is incurable, there are several things you can do along with the previous tips for dealing with arthritis to help slow its progression, such as:

  • Daily exercise
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Monitor and control blood sugar levels
  • Eat a healthy, arthritis-friendly diet
  • Protect your joints
  • Avoid lifting and moving heavy items and objects

What Can You Do for Arthritis Pain?

Several over-the-counter medications can help alleviate and reduce inflammation associated with arthritis. Talk to your healthcare provider about the ones that could benefit you. You can also try using different natural pain relief methods. For example, you could use a heating pad or ice pack depending on whether you want to relax tense and stiff joints or reduce inflammation. Massage therapy also can be beneficial for temporary relief from arthritic pain.

Get Help Managing Elderly Arthritis in Arizona Today

An elderly woman holding her knee if pain due to arthritis.

At Haven Health, we offer several options for seniors with arthritis in Arizona. From our leading assisted living and skilled nursing facilities to our physical and occupational therapies, we provide access to elderly arthritis maintenance to help you maintain an independent lifestyle.

Contact Haven Health now and discover how we can help you manage elderly arthritis.


Four Things You Should Know About Arthritis. (2023).

Rath, L. (2023). Natural Relief for Arthritis Pain. 

12 Best Foods for Arthritis.