Arthritis: Long-Term Pain May Need Long-Term Care

(NAPSI)—Many people think the stiff joints, aches and pains of arthritis are just part of aging.

In fact, while arthritis can result from years of wear and tear, the average age of onset is 47. It’s also true that arthritis plagues more than 65 percent of the oldest Americans, especially women. While there are several types of arthritis, the two most common are rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. Both cause inflamed joints but in different ways:

• Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disorder and affects not only the joints but major organs such as the heart.

• Osteoarthritis is caused by the degeneration of the cartilage in joints. This can be attributed to wear and tear, whether from aging or trauma.

Long-Term Care And Arthritis

Long-term care is needed if you can no longer perform everyday tasks by yourself due to a chronic illness, injury, disability or aging. This type of care includes either cognitive or physical assistance with simple tasks such as bathing, eating and dressing—activities most people do every day without a second thought. This care may seem manageable but it can be the cause of unnecessary financial and emotional strain. When it comes to arthritis, it’s estimated that more than $150,000 is spent on care costs over a lifetime. These costs include lost wages, medical treatments and medical care.

The Society of Actuaries stated in 2014 that 17 percent of women’s home care claims are due to arthritis and it’s the second leading cause of assisted living claims, for both men and women, behind Alzheimer’s disease. According to Jesse Slome, executive director of the American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance, 10 percent of nursing home claimants receiving benefits are women diagnosed with arthritis.

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