May 31, 2018 by Leslie Knopp
Many seniors are living with arthritis in their hands. To find relief, they may take oral pain medications, receive steroid injections on a regular basis, or wear a splint to support their hands.
Hand exercises to strengthen the muscles that support the hands can also help older adults ease arthritis pain. If your older loved one is facing arthritis in their hands, a home care aide can educate them on the following simple exercises.
Make a Fist
Whenever your senior’s hands feel stiff, they should make a fist. To do so, they should hold their left hand out with all of their fingers straight. Next, they should slowly bend their hand into a fist and place their thumb on the outside of their hand. Lastly, they should open their hand back up until their fingers are straight again. A home care aide will encourage your senior to perform this exercise at least 10 times on each hand.
Make an “O”
Making an “O” is another great exercise your older loved one should try when their hands feel achy or stiff. Older adults should begin with their left hand out and fingers straight. Next, they should curve their fingers inward until they touch and form the shape of an “O.” This position should be held for a few seconds and fingers should be straightened again.
A home care aide can remind your senior to stretch their wrists as they can also become sore stiff from arthritis. To stretch their wrist, they should hold their right arm out with their palm facing down. Next, they should take their left hand and gently press down on the right hand until they feel a stretch on their wrist and arm. This position should be held for a few seconds and repeated 10 times with each wrist.
Making a fist, making an “O” and stretching the wrists can all help older adults find relief from hand pain that is caused by arthritis.