7 Early Signs & Symptoms of Senior Arthritis

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According to the CDC, around 50 percent of adults will develop some form of arthritis by the age of 85. Arthritis has a variety of effects, but most seniors will first notice issues such as joint stiffness, minor discomfort, redness, and inflammation. This condition can affect almost any joint in the body, but it’s much more common to experience arthritis in the wrists, hips, elbows, shoulders, and knees.

The early warning signs of arthritis can be difficult to recognize. However, the earlier arthritis is diagnosed, the sooner it can be treated. If you begin noticing any of the following signs in your senior loved one, fast action is important to preserve his or her mobility and address his or her pain. 


1. Difficulty Climbing Stairs

The knee is the body’s largest joint and the second most common body part to be affected by osteoarthritis. Many seniors experience the beginning of arthritis in the knees as pain or difficulty going up or down stairs as well as limping or difficulty remaining steady while walking or standing. 

Seniors can face a variety of challenges as they age, many of which can be mitigated with the help of professional in-home caregivers who provide high-quality senior care. Trust Assisting Hands Home Care to help your elderly loved one age in place safely and comfortably.


2. Sudden Pain in the Big Toe

As a caregiver, you should be aware that your loved one’s sudden complaints of intense pain in a single joint—usually the big toe—may signal an attack of gout. Gout is the second most common type of arthritis and a common form of inflammatory arthritis. The joint that’s affected is often red, tender, and hot to the touch.


3. Stiffness in the Morning

While most people have some stiffness in the morning, being unable to move for 30 minutes or longer in the morning is a sign of rheumatoid arthritis, which, unlike osteoarthritis, actually feels better the more a person moves.


4. Bumps on the Fingers

Bony spurs may develop on finger joints in the beginning stages of arthritis. Sometimes these bumps appear at the base of the thumb, but they typically develop on the last or middle joint of the finger.


5. Pain that Interferes with Sleep

This symptom can be difficult for family caregivers to identify. If you notice your loved one has difficulty getting to sleep, wakes up often, or begins to avoid activities he or she usually enjoys, he or she may be experiencing early symptoms of arthritis.


6. Difficulty Using the Hands

Even in the beginning stages, arthritis can make the hands achy and difficult to use. Many seniors have difficulty turning a key in a lock, holding a doorknob, or buttoning a shirt. 

If your aging loved one needs occasional help with bathing, grooming, cooking, or other basic household tasks, or if you need time to attend to important personal matters, reach out to Assisting Hands Home Care, a leading provider of respite care. Pearland seniors can maintain their independence while living at home with the help of our reliable home caregivers.


7. Fatigue & Fever

In the early stages of arthritis, many seniors complain of chronic fatigue, and they may experience weight loss, decreased appetite, and a fever that may persist for several weeks. Low-grade fevers along with joint inflammation and pain are common symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis. If your loved one’s fever is above 100 degrees, it’s most likely due to an infection instead of arthritis. 

Seniors experiencing symptoms associated with arthritis may find it difficult to perform daily activities due to pain or stiffness. If your aging loved one needs help managing everyday tasks or encouragement to adopt healthier lifestyle choices, turn to Assisting Hands Home Care, a leading provider of home care. Pearland Assisting Hands Home Care provides professional in-home caregivers around the clock to help seniors live longer, happier, and healthier lives. To create a customized home care plan for your loved one, call one of our Care Managers today.