Quality health cover that meets your needs doesn’t need to be complicated or too expensive. We offer you great cover, easy claims, and above all we tell it like it is – Affinity Health

To find out more, give us a call today!

One of our qualified and friendly agents will be happy to assist you.

Call Center:

0861 11 00 33


086 607 9419

General Enquiries:


Find a Doctor/Dentist

or Dentist


Where can you go?


Near me

The Official National Department of Health COVID-19 Support Service: 060 012 3456 (WhatsApp)

Find a Doctor/Dentist

Near me


Where can you go?


Near me


Understanding Arthritis And Its Impact On Older Adults

Affinity Health, a leading provider of high-quality health coverage, explores how arthritis affects those in their golden years and how to manage this condition.

“Despite what some may believe, arthritis can affect people of all ages. However, it is more common among older individuals,” says Murray Hewlett, CEO of Affinity Health.

“Research conducted by the National Institutes of Health has shown that 80% of people older than 55 have the condition. Studies have also revealed the knee is the most often afflicted joint, followed by the hip and the hand.”

What is Arthritis?

Arthritis is not a single disease but rather an umbrella term that encompasses over 100 different types of joint-related conditions.

Rheumatoid arthritisgout, and osteoarthritis are the three most prevalent types of arthritis.

While each type has its unique characteristics, they all share one thing in common: inflammation of the joints, which leads to pain, stiffness, and reduced mobility.

Causes of Arthritis

Depending on the kind of arthritis, many causes might exist. Aside from the natural ‘wear and tear’ joints undergo as we age, a few common factors that can contribute to its development include:

    1. Certain genetic factors
    2. Chronic inflammation (rheumatoid arthritis and lupus)
    3. Previous joint injuries or trauma
    4. Certain lifestyle factors (obesity, smoking, and poor diet)

Physical Effects

The physical effects of arthritis can range from mild discomfort to debilitating pain, making even simple tasks like walking or climbing stairs challenging. As arthritis progresses, it can cause joint deformities and loss of function, further limiting mobility and independence.

Common symptoms of arthritis in older adults include:

Joint Pain: Constant pain in one or more joints is one of the hallmark symptoms of arthritis. This pain may be dull or sharp and can worsen with movement or prolonged activity.

Joint Stiffness: Those with arthritis often experience joint stiffness, especially in the mornings and after extended periods of inactivity. This stiffness may improve with movement but can return later in the day.

Swelling: Inflammation of the joints can cause pain, redness, swelling, tenderness, and warmth (to the touch) around the affected area.

Reduced Range of Motion: Arthritis may reduce the flexibility and range of motion of afflicted joints, making it harder to perform basic movements such as bending, reaching, or grasping objects.

Joint Deformities: In some cases, arthritis can cause joint deformities, such as the formation of bony outgrowths known as bone spurs or the development of misaligned joints.

Fatigue: Arthritis can lead to fatigue and exhaustion, even after minimal physical activity.

Emotional Effects

As they struggle to carry out daily duties and retain their independence, older persons with arthritis may feel embarrassed, frustrated, depressed, and anxious. Social isolation can also be a concern, as arthritis may make participating in social events and activities difficult.

Managing Arthritis

While there is no cure for arthritis, there are many strategies for managing the condition and improving quality of life.


Moving your body helps maintain joint flexibility, muscle strength, and overall mobility. Low-impact activities like walking, swimming, and yoga are particularly beneficial for older adults with arthritis.

Healthy Diet

A balanced diet rich in foods with inflammation-fighting properties (strawberries, blueberries, cherries, oranges, tomatoes, olive oil, green leafy veggies, nuts, and fatty fish) can help reduce inflammation.


Over-the-counter painkillers, such as ibuprofen and acetaminophen, may be used to treat mild pain. Sometimes, prescription medications may be necessary to control inflammation and prevent further joint damage.

Physical Therapy

Through targeted exercises and techniques, physical therapy can help improve joint function and mobility. A physical therapist can also guide proper posture and body mechanics to minimise joint stress.

Assistive Devices

Canes, walkers, and orthotic braces can help support and stabilise arthritic joints, making daily activities manageable.

Stress Management

Deep breathing, meditation, and relaxation exercises can be beneficial for managing the physical and emotional aspects of arthritis.

Living Well with Arthritis

While arthritis can pose significant challenges for older adults, it doesn’t have to define their lives. With the right combination of self-care, treatment, and support, it’s possible to live well with arthritis and maintain a fulfilling and active lifestyle.

Self-care: Self-care is crucial for managing arthritis. It involves adequate sleep, eating a wholesome diet, remaining physically active, and dealing with stress appropriately.

Seeking Support: Don’t hesitate to seek support from healthcare professionals, family members, and support groups. They can provide valuable resources, advice, and emotional support to help you cope with arthritis and navigate its challenges.

Staying Positive: Maintain a positive attitude. Focus on your abilities rather than your limitations, and celebrate small victories.


Arthritis is a common and often debilitating condition, especially among older adults. However, with the right approach to management and self-care, it’s possible to minimise its impact and live well despite its challenges. By staying active, eating well, seeking support, and maintaining a positive attitude, older adults can enjoy a fulfilling and active lifestyle despite arthritis.

About Affinity Health

Affinity Health is South Africa’s leading health coverage provider, offering you a range of options at affordable rates, including access to the widest national provider network. We understand the importance of having medical insurance that meets your needs, budget, and lifestyle. Our healthcare products are designed to protect you and your family when it matters the most. We strive to give our clients peace of mind and the highest standard of service. For more information, follow us on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

If you would like to leave a comment


Get A Free Quote