It’s a vicious cycle: the chronic pain of arthritis heightens levels of stress and anxiety, which in turn can actually worsen arthritis pain. Without taking deliberate steps to break the cycle and restore a sense of calm and wellbeing, arthritic symptoms can continue to exacerbate, along with a host of other physical ailments.
Compassionate Nursing Services helps seniors with arthritis, and other conditions of aging, to improve quality of life through hands-on assistance with care as well as encouragement to engage in enjoyable activities, including those to help relax and reduce stress. Some of our top recommendations include:
- Exercise. There’s truly nothing better to push back anxiety than to get your heart rate up through active movement, which releases calming endorphins. Exercise is also crucial for those with arthritis to strengthen muscles and joints, and keep weight within a healthy range. The doctor should be consulted before beginning any exercise regimen, but with his or her approval, good options to try include swimming, Tai Chi, yoga, dancing, or riding a stationary bike, just to name a few.
- Breathe. Simple deep breathing exercises can work wonders in helping us relax, and are particularly beneficial after exercising. Take several minutes to sit in a comfortable chair, close your eyes, breathe in to the count of five, breathe out to the count of five, and repeat.
- Share. Talking with a trusted counselor, clergy member, friend/family member, or one of Compassionate Nursing Services’ professional caregivers is a great way to release anxious thoughts in a safe environment. Or if discussing personal issues is difficult, writing in a journal or diary can be effective as well. Rather than seeking a solution, the goal should be to simply be heard and understood.
Compassionate Nursing Services of St. Louis is on hand to help older adults reduce stress and anxiety, better manage chronic conditions such as arthritis, and enjoy a higher quality of life. Sometimes just having a friendly companion by your side makes all the difference between a so-so day and a great day.
Our trained, experienced caregivers love spending time with seniors, whether it’s playing a favorite card game, taking a walk around the neighborhood, looking through photo albums and reminiscing, or providing transportation and accompaniment to participate in fun activities in the community. We help make life more comfortable as well, through personal care services, light housework and laundry, meal preparation, and more.
To learn more about improving overall wellbeing for an older adult in your life, contact us at 314-432-4312.