September is officially Pain Awareness Month, which means that health organizations focus on educating the public and raising awareness on the prevalence of chronic pain and the latest pain management techniques. Family caregivers that look after an elderly relative can certainly benefit from learning more about how pain is affecting their senior loved one.
Pain and Elderly Adults.
It’s common for elderly adults to simply live with pain, undiagnosed and undertreated. Many people falsely assume that pain is just a part of getting older, but that isn’t true. Living with pain can negatively impact a person’s physical and mental health. It can contribute to a lack of exercise, loss of appetite, poor sleep, and overuse of pain medication, alcohol, or drugs.
Mentally, chronic pain can bring on anxiety or depression, isolation, and mental decline. However, elderly adults are not powerless in reducing their pain levels. In addition to medical intervention, there are outside remedies that can also help them live with more comfort. Family caregivers with aging loved ones who are facing chronic pain should get them to a doctor for an assessment.
Proactive pain management can really improve an elderly adult’s quality of life, so family caregivers need to do what they can to ensure their aging relative is getting treatment from a doctor. They can also benefit from specialized medical help such as occupational therapy, physical therapy, massages, cognitive behavioral therapy, and more. Making a lifestyle change can also do a lot to help aging adults live with less pain.
Helping Seniors with Pain Management.
Hiring a home care provider is one of the most effective ways to relieve seniors of certain types of chronic pain. The home care providers are on hand to do all the tasks that trigger symptoms in the aging adult. Some of the ways the home care provider can reduce pain and discomfort for the elderly person is by assisting them with daily tasks like showering, bathing, dressing, grooming, and hygiene. Home care providers can also take care of housework, laundry, and meal preparation, leaving the elderly adult with time to rest and avoid activities that trigger pain.
Keeping the body as healthy as possible is a big part of proper pain management for seniors. Nutritious meals, regular activity, and staying mentally alert can go a long way in easing the suffering they have from pain. When seniors are so dependent on family caregivers and home care providers, it makes it especially important that the support group knows all about how to manage pain, works closely with the doctor and inspires the elderly adult.
There’s no doubt that living with chronic pain is one of the most difficult things to do, but elderly adults can be proactive and lower pain levels. There’s no better time than Pain Awareness Month to have a conversation between family caregivers and seniors and make a plan to move forward with as little pain as possible.