Chronic pain is a common issue in the senior years, and it can be difficult to watch as your aging loved one faces challenges with what may sometimes seem like unrelenting discomfort. Although you might not be able to heal your loved one’s health issues, you do have options to help him or her learn how to manage the pain. Try these five strategies to see if they increase your loved one’s comfort each day.
1. Use Prescription Medications Properly
Seniors with chronic pain may be tempted to misuse their painkillers, which can sometimes have the effect of increasing their tolerance to the point that their current prescription isn’t effective. On the other hand, your loved one may need help remembering to take medication since skipping an anti-inflammatory could increase his or her pain. Create a dosing schedule, and use strategies to help your loved one follow it. In some cases, you may need to have a caregiver check on your loved one’s daily medication intake.
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providers can benefit aging adults in a variety of ways. From cooking nutritious meals to offering timely medication reminders, the dedicated caregivers at Home Care Assistance are available to help your elderly loved one 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
2. Encourage Gentle Exercise
Being in pain makes it difficult to exercise. However, many causes of chronic pain respond well to regular movement. Arthritis is the perfect example of this since many seniors report that their pain is relieved throughout the day as they move their joints. Find low-impact forms of exercise your loved one can participate in. Walking, chair exercises, and yoga are a few options can relieve chronic pain.
3. Focus on Enhancing Sleep Quality
Your loved one’s mood and energy levels affect how he or she feels pain. Naturally, being tired or cranky can make pain seem worse. However, severe pain can interrupt sleep. Find ways to make sleep better for your loved one. Your loved one may need to change the medications he or she takes at night or require someone to help him or her change positions throughout the night to alleviate pressure on certain parts of the body.
4. Prevent Additional Injuries
Seniors living with chronic pain are at greater risk for getting hurt. For example, back pain may alter your loved one’s walking pattern and increase the risk for falls. An injury can exacerbate current health conditions that cause current pain, or it could create a new source of discomfort. Talk to your loved one about the best ways to prevent new injuries. Your loved one may need to give up dangerous hobbies for the time being, but he or she can replace them with activities that are easier to perform with assistance, such as gardening or woodworking.
At-home caregivers can supervise seniors and reduce the risk of injuries from falls and other accidents. Home care professionals can be a wonderful boon to seniors. Whether they require around-the-clock supervision or just need assistance with exercise and household tasks a few days a week, seniors can enjoy a higher quality of life with the help of trusted in-home caregivers.
5. Provide Distractions
The ability to manage pain increases when seniors feels happy and are preoccupied with enjoyable activities. Help your loved one find things to do that take the focus off of the pain, such as reading a book or engaging in a social activity. You may also find that being busy helps your loved one stay active both mentally and physically so chronic pain has less of an impact on his or her quality of life.
Families often have to tend to other responsibilities and aren’t always able to be present to help their older loved ones manage chronic pain. If you’re the primary caregiver for a senior family member and you needrespite care, Winnipeg, MB
Home Care Assistance is here to help. Our respite caregivers are trained to assist older adults with a wide variety of everyday tasks, including meal prep, physical activity, and personal hygiene. We also provide 24-hour care and specialized care for seniors with Alzheimer’s, dementia, and Parkinson’s. Call (204) 489 6000 today to learn more.