Ways You Can Help Your Loved Ones Around the Holidays
Rheumatic diseases, such as arthritis, can make it difficult to walk around and do everyday tasks. These conditions can also cause chronic pain and stress, which can make the holiday season more challenging for loved ones who have this type of disease. You can help family members with rheumatic disease enjoy the holidays more with the following steps.
Pay Attention to Their Needs
Loved ones with rheumatic disease have certain needs that you should be aware of when you’re planning family gatherings or other holiday festivities. Even if you’re planning on taking them holiday shopping, it’s important to keep their needs in mind. This includes making sure they’re taking their medications and being aware of the amount of stress they’re feeling. You should also pay attention to your loved one’s pain levels and energy levels. This way, you can make sure that they get rest when needed during holiday events and festivities.
Offer to Help with Holiday Tasks
Certain types of holiday tasks can be difficult or even impossible for those with rheumatic disease to do. If your loved ones are having trouble with physical tasks or if they’re feeling low on energy, offer to handle these tasks for them. For example, you can offer to hang up holiday lights or put up and decorate the tree for them. You can also do simple tasks, such as cutting up vegetables for the holiday meal if they’re planning on having company over. If they’re feeling exhausted or stressed, offering to drive them to where they need to go can also help.
Plan a Healthy Holiday Menu
Foods that have high amounts of healthy omega-3 fatty acids, calcium and vitamin D should all be on your holiday menu. Walnuts, salmon and flaxseed all have omega-3 fatty acids, which reduce inflammation. Foods with calcium and vitamin D, such as dairy products, help lower the risk of developing osteoporosis. Eating these foods while limiting or avoiding unhealthy foods can help lower the risk of having pain flare up and protect the joints. Having a menu that features these foods can help your loved ones feel healthier during the holidays.
Offer Emotional Support
Loved ones who have a rheumatic disease have a higher risk of having depression. This risk can become even higher during wintertime when there is less sunlight. Offer your loved ones emotional support if they need it. This might mean encouraging them to talk to you if they’re feeling down or giving them a shoulder to cry on. You can also help them out by assisting them with finding a local support group for people who have a rheumatic disease.
If your loved one struggles with physical pain or mental distress due to their rheumatic disease, please call our experienced team at Arthritis Center of Lexington to set up an appointment.