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Early Signs of Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis is a form of arthritis in which the body’s own immune system attacks tissues in the joints. According to a new study, having difficulty doing certain activities, like getting dressed or walking, can occur up to two years before a person is diagnosed with the disease. The study is significant because it shows the need for early treatment of the disease. Knowing the early symptoms can help you to get your aging relative treatment for rheumatoid arthritis as soon as possible.

Below are some early signs of the disease.

Home Health Care Sonoma CA - Early Signs of Rheumatoid Arthritis

Home Health Care Sonoma CA – Early Signs of Rheumatoid Arthritis


The older adult may feel extremely tired or even depressed because of the disease. It is believed to be a reaction to building inflammation in the body. Fatigue can make it hard to have the energy to do everyday tasks. It can also make them withdraw from social activities because they are too tired to participate. You may start to notice your aging relative’s house looking messier than usual or they might stop coming to regular family functions.


The older adult might wake up feeling stiff and have some difficulty moving. This kind of stiffness may last for hours. It can also happen after the senior has remained still for a long period of time. Another kind of stiffness that can occur happens in small joints, such as in the fingers. It occurs gradually and can last for days.

Low Grade Fever

The inflammation associated with rheumatoid arthritis can cause a slight fever. The older adult might feel generally ill. This sign often occurs along with fatigue.

Tender Joints

Joints in the hands and feet may feel tender when touched or moved. The most common joints to be affected by this are in the bases of the fingers and toes. The middle joint of the fingers may also be affected. Painful joints in the feet may cause them to walk on their heels.

Numbness and Tingling

Seniors might experience tingling and numbness in their hands or feet. This is caused by inflammation that presses on nerves, interrupting signals that allow them to feel sensations.

If your older family member is diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis, home health care can help them to manage tasks that are difficult because of the disease. A home health care provider can help with things like buttoning shirts or tying shoes. Home health care providers can also perform household tasks like cleaning, doing laundry, making beds, and cooking. And, if driving is a problem because of stiff and painful joints, home health care can offer transportation to the places your aging relative needs to go.


If you or an aging loved one are considering hiring Home Health Care Services in Sonoma CA, call At Your Service Home Care.  Call today! (707) 573-1003

Lucy Andrews DNP, RN, MS

In 1988, after working as a clinical nurse in the University Health System at UC San Francisco, Lucy Andrews started understanding home care.

She became a discharge planner and immediately fell in love with the concept of home care and the autonomous clinical practice it affords nurses. Dr. Lucy was hooked and has been a strong supporter of home care ever since.Believing people need advocates in healthcare systems, she has championed that cause across the acute care and post-acute care setting.

Dr. Lucy has worked in every aspect of home care from Medicare Certified, DME, Infusion, Hospice and finally Private Duty/Private Pay services. She also works as a home care consultant across the country and as a legal nurse consultant for the home care industry.

Having worked in all areas of home care, Dr. Lucy has a well-rounded perspective of the challenges facing patients, families and the home care industry, and as a provider she advocates for patients through the maze of health care services. Dr. Lucy celebrated over 37 years as a nurse and patient advocate.

Dr. Lucy has a Baccalaureate Degree in Nursing from Lewis University, Romeoville, Illinois.In 1994, she received her Masters of Science in Health Service Administration from St. Mary's University, Moraga, California. Dr. Lucy received her Doctor of Nursing Practice awarded in 2016, graduating with Distinction and a 4.0 GPA.

She did her doctoral work on the global dementia crisis, aging and prevention strategies for healthy living. Developed dementia and Alzheimer's disease plans for aging patients leaving the hospital setting or entering long-term care or home health and hospice environments. She also developed a specialized program for those at risk for dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

In 1992, Dr. Lucy was designated CAHSAH Certified Home Care Administrator in the inaugural offering of this designation through the California Association for Health Services at Home (CAHSAH).

She is the founder and CEO of Creative Solutions Home Care Consulting Services and At Your Service Nursing & Home Care, a concierge nursing & home care agency that provides the services she believes are essential for seniors to age in place.She offers a higher level of care allowing people to be in their own homes with an emphasis on independence, safety, and quality of life.

Dr. Lucy is the Vice Chair of the Board of Directors for the National Association for Home Care and Hospice (NAHC) and sits on the Board of Directors for California Association for Health Services at Home (CAHSAH).

She has served on the boards for both state and national board associations, and is currently on the following boards and committees: Board of Directors, California State Association for Health Services at Home (CAHSAH), 2002-present, National Association for Home Care and Hospice (NAHC's) Private Duty Home Care Association Director, and multiple state and national home care committees.

Dr. Lucy goes to Washington, DC, several times a year to advocate for senior services and home care issues. She was past Commissioner for the Sonoma Commission on Human Rights.She is past chair of the local Senior Advocacy Services.

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