6 Ways to Treat Hand Ailments in the Elderly

By Pete Lane, 9:00 am on

Seniors are particularly at risk for conditions that make it difficult to close their fingers, securely grasp items, or make small movements. Impaired hand mobility can affect common tasks like writing, grooming, and eating, so it is important to get hand ailments treated as soon as possible. If your senior loved one is living with a hand ailment, he or she may be able to get some relief with these six treatments.

1. Hot and Cold Compresses

Seniors who have stiff hands due to arthritis can benefit from gentle hot compresses. The heat enhances blood flow to the area and relieves stiffness. Cold compresses reduce swelling and are effective for relieving temporary hand pain caused by overexertion. You can make a hot compress by soaking a washcloth in warm water, or you can make a cold compress with a bag of frozen peas.

Caring for a senior loved one can be challenging for families who don’t have expertise or professional training in home care, but this challenge doesn’t have to be faced alone. Family caregivers can turn to Centennial Home Care Assistance for the help they need. We provide high-quality live-in and respite care as well as comprehensive Alzheimer’s, dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care.

2. Steroid Injections

If your loved one’s hand pain or immobility is caused by inflammation, corticosteroids may help. This medication is applied directly to the affected area by way of an injection into the joint. It can provide relief for several months. Talk to your loved one’s doctor to see if this treatment may work.     

3. Good Nail Hygiene

Arthritis is not the only hand ailment. Pain can be caused by ingrown nails, infections, and nail fungus. To treat these conditions, cut your loved one’s nails regularly and clip hangnails instead of tearing them. If your loved one has a fungal infection, talk to his or her doctor about proper medications.

4. Rest

Seniors frequently develop ailments related to overuse of the hands and joints. Wearing a splint device can keep the hand in a neutral position and relieve stress. Many seniors find relief from wearing a splint at night or during certain activities. 

5. Surgery

If your loved one is living with severe hand ailments, your doctor may recommend surgery. Hand surgeries can implant artificial joint material to cushion the delicate hand joints and ease pain. Other options may include surgeries to fuse together the finger bones, which can increase hand mobility.

A professional caregiver can make day-to-day life easier, safer, and more comfortable for your senior loved one while recovering from surgery. Some seniors only require help with a few daily tasks so they can maintain their independence. However, those living with serious illnesses may need more extensive assistance. Luckily, there is professional live-in care Centennial, CO, seniors can rely on. Home can be a safer and more comfortable place for your loved one to live with the help of an expertly trained and dedicated live-in caregiver.

6. Hand Exercises

Gentle stretches and exercises can relieve hand ailments because they build muscles to cushion the joints. A simple stretch involves starting with a flat hand, curling the fingers at the top knuckle, then curling them further into a tight fist, straightening them at the middle knuckle while keeping the fist shape, then reversing the steps back to a flat hand. Talk to a physical therapist about more extensive exercises.

Professional caregivers can assist your elderly loved one with mobility and exercise, medication reminders, and other daily tasks. If your aging loved one needs occasional help with bathing, grooming, cooking, or other basic household tasks, or if you need time to attend to important personal matters, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of live-in and respite care. Centennial seniors can maintain their independence while living at home with the help of our reliable respite caregivers. To hire a licensed, professionally trained, and compassionate caregiver for your elderly loved one, call us at 303.957.3100 today.

Bootstrap 101 Template