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Turmeric: Aiding In Fall Risk Prevention For Seniors With Arthritis

May 14, 2018 by Michele Berman

Turmeric: Aiding Fall Prevention For Seniors With Arthritis


No matter which way it's turned, arthritis is painful. As the number one cause of disability in the United States, Arthritis is a name given to the umbrella hovering over hundreds of diseases that cause joint inflammation throughout the body.  Typically, results in progressive pain and stiffness. In senior care, this can translate to an increased risk of falls. For these reasons and various others, research on treatment options is vast, and to the surprise of many, now includes the positive effects of the spice, turmeric, for the prevention and treatment of joint pain.


Arthritis affects 53 million individuals throughout the country. The severe and often intensifying pain is responsible for a decrease in body function, an increase in muscle weakness, and a damaged sense of balance. Because of this, Arthritis is linked to falls, and particularly in seniors, can lead to injuries that require surgery, which, in turn, is related to immobility and muscle atrophy. Fall risk prevention is an important focus in the care of seniors with Arthritis.


Additionally, Arthritis makes fitness painful and troublesome; thus, in response, many individuals avoid exercise. Such avoidance of physical activity jump-starts an adverse spiral effect since exercise is a crucial weapon in the fight against joint stiffness and muscle atrophy.


The deterioration of muscle coordination leaves seniors at risk for falls, not only because of the loss of strength but also due to the lack of confidence with which to approach physical feats that require a healthy sense of balance.  


Turmeric’s Anti-Inflammatory Properties


Medical professionals often rely on medications, rife with unpleasant side effects, to treat individuals suffering from the painful effects of Arthritis. While medical solutions can be effective, some of the drugs, such as Ibuprofen, can have a negative impact on the stomach. While others, including certain narcotics, can be misused or addictive, which certainly makes them an undesirable option.


Growing numbers of people, not only the general public but an increased number of medical professionals, have pronounced a developing faith in natural remedies. Such as turmeric, a yellow powder made from a plant root, grown in India and Indonesia.


Of the ginger family, turmeric has long been a traditional treatment of arthritis in China and India, because of its most active element, curcumin. Curcumin blocks inflammatory cytokines and enzymes; however, it has been observed that it is somewhat more effective in the prevention of such ailments as arthritis symptoms than in the reduction of the symptoms.


Turmeric can be consumed as a capsule or in spice form, but its effectiveness is contingent upon the proper absorption of the curcumin into the bloodstream. When consumed through Indian cuisine, it is effective because of the regular inclusion of pepper in Indian cooking. Pepper is the key to the proper absorption of turmeric.


In pill form, turmeric capsules include piperine, which is a pepper, to ensure effectiveness; pills of turmeric that lack the piperine will not be fully absorbed into the bloodstream. Chefs and in-home caregivers who assist with home care nutrition of seniors who wish to incorporate turmeric in their diets should keep in mind this important fact.


Safety is paramount when it comes to thoughtful home health care, and we at Comfort Keepers in Langhorne are open to fresh ideas and alternative options that are suggested by your doctor. If it is recommended that your loved one incorporate something such as turmeric into their diet or pill regime, we follow instructions carefully to provide the highest level of care and companionship. Fall risk prevention is serious business, and we take our role to heart.


For more information about home care options provided by Comfort Keepers, please contact us through our website, or by calling (215) 885-9140.


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