Elderly Care West Middlesex PA: Gout and the Best Elderly Care Practices to Help!

Gout is an extremely painful form of arthritis, more common in men, caused by having high levels of uric acid in the body.  Uric acid, a bodily waste product, gets deposited as crystals into the joints or soft tissues.  When this happens, it causes swelling, redness, stiffness, and inflammatory arthritis in the joints.  As a part of elderly care, what can you do to help?

There are some factors that may contribute to an attack of gout.  Eating certain foods, such as shellfish, liver, peas, anchovies, dried beans, or gravy can cause an attack. Certain medications, alcohol consumption, and being overweight can make a gout attack worse.

The most common problem area with gout is the big toe but that doesn’t mean it excludes other joints, such as the ankles, wrists, knees, elbows, and other toes.  When gout causes swelling of these joints, the skin is pulled tight around the affected area. The area becomes red or purple and very tender.

The following are symptoms of gout:

  • Arthritis that develops in one day making a joint swollen, red, and warm
  • Hyperuricemia
  • More than one attack of acute arthritis
  • Uric acid crystals in joint fluid
  • Arthritis that attacks only one joint such as the toe, knee, or ankle

Getting the proper treatment for gout will for the most part allow you to control the symptoms and live a productive life.  The goals of treatment for gout are to relieve the pain associated with the attacks, prevent future attacks, and to avoid tophi and kidney stones.  Treatment is necessary to prevent disability.

Treatment for gout consists of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) taken orally or corticosteroids that are either taken orally or by injection into the affected joint. NSAIDs reduce inflammation but have no bearing on the amount of uric acid in the body.  Corticosteroids are strong anti-inflammatory hormones and the most commonly prescribed is prednisone.  Within a few hours patients begin to improve and the attack will usually go away within a week.

Elderly care practices can help prevent gout by ensuring the senior is eating a healthy diet, getting the right amount of exercise, maintaining a healthy weight, and getting regular checkups.  Consult with the doctor about which medications the senior is taking and if they can put that person at risk for an attack of gout.  Know the signs to look for and check the common areas periodically.

The caregivers at CareGivers Plus are available to talk with you and your family about all of your home care needs. CareGivers Plus is an elder care agency providing quality and affordable elderly care in West Middlesex PA,  and the surrounding areas. Call 724-638-7110 for more information.

About Robert Devine

Robert Devine is Owner and Administrator at Caregivers Plus Home Health Care of Hermitage, PA.

Whether it’s conversation and company, or just eating a meal together, having someone to sit and visit with can help make for a happier, healthier life.

Caregivers Plus has been operating as a locally owned family-operated home care agency in Mercer County since 1994.