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This post is dedicated to my grandma, who on June 13 turned 89 years old, and has suffered with Arthritis for the past 15 years of her life.

Anyone who knows me knows that my grandma and I have this special relationship, and this is why for the past five years I’ve been searching the internet on ways people can cope with arthritis while living an active life.

On average, 7 out off the 10 adults over the age of 60 within the Caribbean begin to experience arthritis pain.

Anyone living with arthritis should try to find new ways to cope. One great way to start is to plan most of your daily activities such as bathing, brushing your teeth, cooking, cleaning, working, shopping and relaxing, should all be examined with the goal of find ways to get organized and avoid unnecessary movements.

Organize you daily tasks. By organizing yourself and your day, you can accomplish goals more easily. Try these ways to get organized:

Each morning, take a few minutes to plan out your day. By listing all the things you need to do in order to importance, you get the most important things done earlier in the day in case you get tired early.

Organize your work space, such as your kitchen or living room, so all of your tools are nearby. Keep the television remote control in the same place so you can always find it. Store sewing supplies and cooking utensils in waist-level cabinets or shelves. Keep a notepad and pen on the table besides the telephone.

Arrange to have chairs so that you sit instead of stand while cooking, talking on the phone, ironing, cleaning, etc. That will take pressure off your joints. A high stool is useful in the kitchen for cooking or washings dishes.

Avoid overly soft, deep – cushioned Chairs. They can be hard to get out of, putting unnecessary strain on your arms and shoulders. Even in visiting friends at their homes, look for a chair that will allow you to sit down and get up easily.

Avoid tight grasping movements that may strain your hands. Learn how to install larger handles on house objects. One simple way is to use soft foam rubber and wide tape. By building up handles with foam padding you don’t have to grip so slightly.

Always use good posture to avoid unnecessary strain. Make sure work areas are at the right height. You should be able to work on a table with your arms comfortably at your sides, with your forearms at 90 degree angles from your upper arms. In the event that you have to lift an object off the floor, blend your knees, rather than your back, and keep you back straight as you go down and back up.

Don’t sit in the same position for a long time. Get up and move every once in a while so you don’t become stiff. Do a few range-of-motion movements to loosen up again.

Finally, find a balance between activity and rest. Alternate periods of work with periods of light activity or rest. Rest is just as important as keeping active both should be done in moderation.

Photo courtesy:Globe Staff Photo/Nancy Palmieri

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