Growing Older With Psoriatic Arthritis

Growing older with psoriatic arthritis can mean many different things. A few things that come to mind are access to health care and disease progression.

My birthday was in February and I turned sixty-three. This is not elderly to most people. I have had psoriasis arthritis for over 30 years and as I have gotten older, my psoriatic arthritis seems to affect me more and more.

With age, comes increased comorbidities

Comorbidities are the simultaneous presence of two or more diseases or medical conditions in a patient. Living with comorbidities can complicate the management and treatment of the existing chronic conditions one lives with.

Older people have the highest risk of having a chronic condition and connecting comorbidities. There are many of us who have PsA, diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol. I have been a part of this group for years.

How can we slow down progression?

While physical inactivity is more prevalent in people with comorbidities, let me share some of the benefits of physical activity for elderly people with PsA and other chronic conditions.

Yes, we are all tired of doctors telling us to just lose a few pounds and just a little physical activity can help that. Overall, physical activity can include better physical function, lower blood pressure and decrease cholesterol levels.

Living with arthritis and inflammatory conditions, it's laughable to think of any type of chosen physical activity. There is a lot of pain that comes with PsA. Weight training and aerobics all sound great, the big question is if it is even possible for us to do it?

Tips for gentle exercises

My doctor told me that physical “inactivity” is risky for some of us suffering from chronic pain. Gentle exercise and light movement are a few places to start. Consistency and momentum are additional factors. Over time, with consistent gentle exercises, you will see a strengthening of bones, muscles, mood improvement, and weight control. 

What activities can you enjoy? As for me, I only like walking slowly. If I don’t get those steps in early in the morning, it won’t happen. Lack of motivation? Yes. It is only up to you. I’m getting better with this. I know I need to take care of myself.

Lifestyle changes for a longer life

I have made some lifestyle changes - it's not easy. Walking three times a week and trying to eat right is a big part of it. Psoriatic arthritis has an additional impact on us as we get age. Our immunity levels change too.

Don't count us out yet. We are just getting our second wind.

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