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Helping HandsBy now, you’ve probably often heard that osteoarthritis (OA) is caused by normal wear and tear of the joints and that this degenerative joint disease is associated with seniors over age 65.  How, exactly, does cartilage wear out over time, and who is at risk?  In this article, A-1 Home Care will discuss the process, risks, and preventive ways to diminish OA progression in the event that your elderly loved one develops symptoms.

The Process

Osteoarthritis is defined as a degenerative disorder resulting from a biochemical breakdown of articular (hyaline) cartilage in the synovial joints, and a more modern view holds that OA involves the entire joint organ (Medscape, 2015).  Another online source describes OA as a disease caused by damage to the cartilage, which could mean three things:  a direct blow (from a heavy external force), prolonged periods of stress on the bones (very common in overweight individuals), and physical inactivity.

Who’s at Risk?

As you may have guessed from the previous paragraph, people who are at risk for osteoarthritis are those involved in high impact sports, who are overweight, and those who do not exercise regularly.  Other causes of OA include auto accidents or bad injuries resulting from a fall.  Generally speaking, the risk of OA grows with age, and about 70% of individuals with this disease are over age 70, while a smaller percentage (4%) in young populations (age 20 and over) have this inflammatory joint disorder.  It is more common in women than in men.

Ways to Prevent Osteoarthritis

Exercise, take care of your body, stretch before you do anything physically intense, drink lots of water and eat well.  These tips sound so basic, yet each year about 20 million new cases of OA are diagnosed, so this means that people don’t take their lifestyle seriously or they don’t think it could happen to them.  Ignoring signs and symptoms could lead to chronic disability, costing you millions of dollars in health care, not to mention daily pain, discomfort and distress.  Without companion caregivers around, seniors are less likely to exercise on their own due to the intense pain and inflammation in their joints.  Contrary to popular belief, exercise will strengthen the muscles around the joints and thus place less pressure on the affected joints when walking.  If you want to give your elderly loved one a gentle push, hiring a 24-hour caregiver will be the best gift you can give your loved one.

Financing Live-In Care Has Never Been Easier

A-1 Home Care has viable financial options for you to choose from.  We are LA County’s preferred home care agency because of the excellence we deliver in our live-in and live-out senior care services.  Since its inception in 1991, A-1 Home Care has been serving seniors and their families with skill and compassion, and all our culturally diverse caregivers are prescreened, professional and highly skilled.  We are open 24 hours a day to serve you, and if you have a question or a need, you can call us and never worry about getting an answering machine.  Our live operators are on stand-by 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, to address your concerns.  A-1 Home Care also accepts long-term care insurance and veteran benefits.

To hire an Alzheimer’s caregiver today, call (310) 657-8780 or visit our website www.culvercityinhomecare.com for services in Malibu, Culver City, Santa Monica, Beverly Hills, Hollywood, Redondo Beach, and other cities throughout Los Angeles County.

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