By Dr. Ebi Ofrey (CoFounder/CEO GeroCare
Living far away from your parents can be difficult, especially if they are dealing with a condition like osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis is a type of arthritis that occurs when the cartilage that cushions the joints wears down, causing pain, stiffness, and difficulty moving. As a child, you may feel like there is not much you can do to help your parents manage their osteoarthritis, but there are actually many ways you can assist them from a distance.
• Help with research: Gather information about osteoarthritis and share it with your parents. Look up articles and videos on the condition, and provide your parents with a list of resources they can use to learn more.
• Help with communication: Set up regular phone or video calls with your parents to check in on how they are feeling and to see if they need any assistance. This can also be a good opportunity for your parents to ask you questions about their condition.
• Help with medication management: Remind your parents to take their medication on time and to refill their prescriptions before they run out. You can also help them keep track of their medication schedule by creating a chart or calendar for them to use.
• Help with exercise: Encourage your parents to exercise regularly, as this can help reduce pain and stiffness caused by osteoarthritis. Provide them with a list of exercises they can do at home and remind them to stay active.
• Help with assistive devices: If your parents are having difficulty moving around, suggest they use assistive devices such as canes or walkers. Help them find the right devices for their needs and provide them with instructions on how to use them safely.
• Help with diet: Suggest your parents to eat a healthy diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and lean protein. It can help them maintain a healthy weight which can help reduce the stress on their joints and prevent osteoarthritis from getting worse.
• Help with doctor’s appointment: Help your parents schedule and prepare for doctor’s appointments. Provide them with a list of questions to ask their doctor and remind them to bring their medication list.
By helping your parents manage their osteoarthritis, you can give them the support and assistance they need to live a comfortable and active life. Remember to always communicate with them, and listen to their needs, this way you can help them in the best way possible.
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