Pain can be difficult to treat as it isn’t always easy to pinpoint exactly where it hurts. Many times it takes several types of treatments and different doctors to make an accurate diagnosis before relief is in sight for an elder suffering with chronic pain. How can elder care help a loved one beat chronic pain?
What is chronic pain?
First, home care for the elderly must have a little knowledge of what chronic pain is. Chronic pain is pain that lasts longer than the average healing process. Depending on the injury, some patients may experience a few weeks of chronic pain while for others it could be up to six months or longer.
Pain is often more devastating in the elderly because they feel isolated and helpless. Many seniors feel that reporting pain is a sign of vulnerability but they need to realize that they don’t have to suffer. Caregivers should watch for signs that their loved one may be in pain.
- Altered mental state
- Social withdrawal
- Treating chronic pain with medication
What are some ways other than drugs to treat chronic pain?
- Exercise – Check with the doctor regarding an exercise or movement routing. Yoga or swimming are great ways to keep physically active.
- Physical therapy
- Hot and cold therapy – use a heating pad to treat an area followed by an ice pack. This will help reduce inflammation and pain.
- Acupuncture, magnet therapy, and hypnosis can be effective with no side effects.
- Cognitive behavioral therapy teaches self-pain management.
What are some ways elder care can help?
- Keep a daily journal of your loved one’s symptoms and side effects. This will be helpful to healthcare providers in spotting a pattern or pain trigger. Note when pain keeps the elder from enjoying or performing everyday activities.
- Caregivers are the advocates for the elderly. Don’t be afraid to ask the doctor questions on your loved one’s behalf.
It is also important for elder care to make sure their loved one is taking the prescribed medicine. Much of helping an elder beat chronic pain is going to come from a positive attitude and providing the support and encouragement they need.
If you have a loved one who could benefit from the help of elder care in The Woodlands, TX contact the caregivers at SYNERGY HomeCare. We help seniors and their families with many levels of home care service. Call (281) 407-1200 for more information.