Our loved ones who suffer from arthritis don’t just struggle with physical pain – but often emotional as well. Activities that once were enjoyable now may be painful, or are virtually impossible — and often they must rely on family members for assistance, or ask for help more than they’d care to.

This pain, restricted mobility, and increased fatigue can leave our loved ones with arthritis feeling hopeless. However, it is important to remain a strong support as there are proven coping strategies that can help through the journey. Luckily, there is much we can do at home to alleviate some of the troubles ahead and improve our loved one’s quality of life.

Firstly, it is of paramount importance to encourage them to talk about their feelings and show you understand and are there for them. It is not unusual for arthritis sufferers to become depressed, so if you sense they may be, urge them to see a GP and go with them. They should not tough it out in silence.

Offer to accompany them in some form of daily exercise to encourage mobility, but remember to show extra support, emotionally or physically — as they may have lost some confidence they once had in themselves.

Consistently offer help, prior to being asked, whether it be with daily mundane activities or transport to appointments – it often is much easier to accept an offer than it is to ask. Additionally, always ensure that they are taking prescribed medication correctly and eating a healthy diet, with regular meals and portion sizes.

Caring for your loved one with arthritis may not be the easiest road. However, with your help, understanding and support, you can get through it together and manage challenges as a team.