Encouraging a Michigan Parent to Seek Treatment for Arthritis Pain

Encouraging a Michigan Parent to Seek Treatment for Arthritis Pain

Dear Donna:

My 82-year old father has arthritis. He’s lived with it for many years. I know he is really suffering from it but I can’t convince him to see the doctor. He says there is no cure for it so it is a waste of time and money. In all honesty, I’m not sure how many years it has been since my dad has even been to the doctor. He is very stubborn!

I saw a commercial on television about arthritis medication so I think there might be options for him. Any suggestions to offer?

Tami in Hudsonville, Michigan

Dear Tami:

It isn’t uncommon for older adults to be resistant to seeing a physician for a variety of reasons. But in this case, seeing a physician experienced at working with older adults who live with arthritis is the best way to relieve the pain it sounds like your father is feeling. While your dad is correct in saying there is no cure for arthritis, there are ways to manage it.

A physician can recommend treatment options ranging from pain relievers and steroids to physical therapy or aquatic therapy. Both of these therapies help strengthen and support the muscles around the damaged joint while improving range of motion. His doctor can also share information on the surprising role diet plays in preventing –or creating—the inflammation that makes the pain of arthritis worse.

The experts from the Arthritis Foundation offer the following advice on when someone with the disease should consult with a physician:

  • When pain, swelling, or stiffness is present in one or more joints
  • If joints appear reddened or warm to the touch
  • When moving a joint is difficult or when symptoms inhibit everyday activities

In addition, the experts recommend making an appointment with a doctor if symptoms persist for more than three days or if your father has more than one battle with his arthritis in a month. A gerontologist or a rheumatologist might be the best choice.

We hope sharing this information with your father may help change his mind and convince him to seek medical attention!



Heritage Senior Communities newest community assisted living community in Holland, Michigan will open its doors to new residents in June.

Natural Remedies for Arthritis Relief

Natural Remedies for Arthritis Relief

More than 46 million people in this country live with arthritis. 300,000 children also live with the disease. It can have a debilitating effect on those who suffer from it. In addition to the physical toll it takes on those who live with this diagnosis are the financial consequences. The Arthritis Foundation estimates that arthritis and complications from the disease add up to over $124 billion each year. Those numbers include the cost of care, lost wages, and other related expenses. There are a variety of forms of arthritis, but the most common is osteoarthritis (OA). As cold weather makes its return to Michigan, the symptoms of OA often worsen.

What can you do to help a Michigan senior you love find ways to treat joint pain that doesn’t involve medication?

Natural Remedies for Osteoarthritis Pain during a Michigan Winter

Inflammation in the joints can be incredibly painful. While exercising is one of the best ways to prevent inflammation and stiffness, the bone-on-bone contact arthritis creates can make it too painful to move.

Here are a few natural remedies that might help you or your senior loved one enjoy a better quality of life this winter:

  • Monitor your diet. Everything from toxins in the air to stress and sugar can contribute to inflammation. It is nearly impossible to avoid it all. There are some foods, however, that have been proven to help fight inflammation. A few healthier ones include raisins, kale, sweet potatoes, ginger, cherries and walnuts.
  • No impact exercise. One of the best ways to prevent swelling in your joints is to stay active. There are no-impact exercises that still provide a full range of motion workout. Some suggestions to consider are water aerobics, tai chi and chair yoga.
  • Alternating hot and cold. Arthritis suffers often find that alternating cold packs with hot ones can provide relief. The heat source can help decrease stiffness in the joints while the cold pack can help with the pain and swelling.
  • Hand and finger dexterity. For many with arthritis, joints in their fingers and hands are the most painful. There are several inexpensive products that can help. You can purchase a home paraffin wax machine for under $30 that will help relieve joint pain. Another way to keep joints in the hands limber is to take part in activities that require dexterity such as playing cards, sewing, drawing, and knitting.

We hope these remedies to help decrease the pain and symptoms arthritis sufferers in Michigan experience during the winter!