When you hear the word arthritis, you imagine stiff joints and pain. What you may not know is there are all kinds of arthritis. Each has slightly different symptoms. The hardest part is the chronic nature of arthritis, leaving your loved one in pain for many years. 

Approximately half of adults over the age of 65 have some degree of the disease, most often gout, osteoarthritis, and rheumatoid arthritis. Arthritis slowly changes and damages joints. It can be debilitating and cause people difficulty in managing everyday activities. Harder still is realizing you’re not prepared to help effectively.

That’s where Angels on Call of Philadelphia can step in to help. There’s no reason to run yourself ragged when you could get an in-home aid for personalized care, easing the stress in your schedule. Dishes? Doctor’s appointments? Dressing assistance-we do all of these things and so much more.

Whether you choose to get help or not, educating yourself is one of the keys to understanding this disease and for what to watch.


Gout is excruciating. It comes from the accumulation of uric acid crystals in joints and connective tissue. The result is redness, stiffness, and swelling. In Seniors, blood pressure medication can increase the chances of gout, so get information from a physician about your loved one’s script. 

Gout typically begins in the big toe, but it can also affect ankles, knees, wrists, and other toes. As the skin swells, it becomes taught and inflamed. The typical treatment for Gout is a two-pronged approach with one medication reducing swelling and pain and another for lowering the uric acid in the blood. 

Additionally, the physician may order a fluid test from the affected joint, a blood test, X-ray, and Ultrasound. All of these appointments can be covered by Angels on Call! We can help coordinate insurance, too.


By far, Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis seen in seniors. Cartilage wears away in joints. Cartilage is like a pillow for your joints. When the cartilage completely wears away, bones rub against each other. The most common parts of the body presenting with Osteoarthritis are knees, hips, lower back, hands, and neck.

In less severe cases, the symptoms are mild pain and stiffness when bending or waking. The older you are, the greater your risk of Osteoarthritis. Sometimes the condition has ties to genetics. 

Treatment includes over-the-counter pain relievers, like Acetaminophen, anti-inflammatory medication like Advil, and a script for medication to treat chronic pain when needed. The pharmaceutical protocols sometimes combine with physical therapy, lubricating injections, and in the worst-case scenario, replacement surgery. Whew!

Did you know you can hire a friend or family member to care for your Senior? It’s a great option, making them feel more secure with a familiar face.

Rheumatoid Arthritis

This form of arthritis is an autoimmune disease. Your body attacks your joints (any of them), misinterpreting signals, thinking of it as a disease or injury. The result is inflammation, stiffness, and swelling. Women are at higher risk for Rheumatoid Arthritis, and it leaves Seniors feeling weary all the time. Medication-wise, prednisone and anti-rheumatic drugs are common.

Feel as if you need a helping hand for your Senior. Angels on Call are available 24/7 by phone: 1-888-432-1070. We have locations in Allentown, Harrisburg, Shippensburg, and York, just to name a few.  You can also fill out our online form and tell us what kind of assistance you’re seeking.