Arthritis isn’t one of those ailments that has a hard and fast cause that you can point to readily. There are a wide range of possible causes. What you can do is look at the possible risk factors and compare that to your senior’s experience. That can help you to understand what might be going on and putting a plan in motion.
Having a Family History of Arthritis
So many health conditions are hereditary in some way or another. Your senior may have family members who had arthritis, and that may make her genetically predisposed to develop arthritis herself. This is typically more common with autoimmune forms of arthritis, but it can also be true for osteoarthritis. If other family members have had arthritis, it’s definitely an important factor to consider for your senior and her joint health.
Previous Injuries She’s Sustained
Over the course of a life, most people experience injuries ranging from minor to serious. Beyond injuries, there’s just the normal daily use of joints that cause them to wear out. Both of these situations can contribute to arthritis becoming a problem for your elderly family member. Injuries or wear and tear aren’t a guarantee that your elderly family member is going to develop arthritis, but they can increase the likelihood.
Having a little extra weight on her frame can create a variety of different problems for your senior. That extra weight can add that little extra wear and tear to your senior’s joints that can lead to arthritic conditions. Losing even a small percentage of extra weight may be able to help your senior’s joints to recover. Work with her doctor to formulate a plan to help her to do that safely and without causing her other problems that are more of a concern.
Your Senior’s Age
Even if your elderly family member doesn’t have any of these other risk factors, her age alone could work against her. This is again where using her joints throughout her life both serves them well and creates wear and tear. Many people do age significantly without developing arthritis, however, so again this is not a guarantee. It is something to consider, though.
If arthritis is making your senior’s daily life more difficult, consider hiring elder care providers. They can help her with a variety of tasks and show her ways to adapt what she’s doing to meet her current needs.