Most independent elderly Americans enjoy active, busy lifestyles. But over 32 million seniors also live with osteoarthritis, a degenerative “wear-and-tear” joint disease that may come about due to the aging process. Osteoarthritis can cause joint pain, stiffness and swelling, and for some its effects can be debilitating. Eventually osteoarthritis symptoms can get so bad that they interfere with a senior’s mobility and activities of daily living (ADLs). If you are currently looking after aging loved one who’s dealing with osteoarthritis, here’s how to help them enjoy a higher quality of life. 

Osteoarthritis Facts and Figures 

As the most common type of arthritis, osteoarthritis (OA) is a degenerative joint disease that primarily targets the hips, knees and hands. With OA, the cartilage within a joint begins to break down as the supporting structures- like bone- begin to change. Those physiological changes typically develop slowly and then grow progressively worse over time.

Risk factors for primary or secondary osteoarthritis include:

  • Age
  • Joint injury or overuse
  • Gender- women are more likely to develop OA than men
  • Genetics
  • Inactivity
  • Obesity
  • Ra