Does your elderly loved one live with pain every day, enough that it is limiting their ability to enjoy life? Millions of aging Americans suffer with chronic pain because they are more likely to be undiagnosed and untreated for health issues that may be causing it. September is Pain Awareness Month, where health care experts raise awareness and educate people on chronic pain and how to find relief.
As a family caregiver, you have an opportunity to check out all the resources about pain management during Pain Awareness Month to see if there is something you can do for your aging relative.
Sources of Chronic Pain in Elderly Adults
Pain is the body’s way of warning the brain that something is wrong. Humans naturally try to avoid pain, but when an elderly adult is living with an illness or disease, recovering from surgery or simply dealing with age-related physical deterioration, they may be experiencing pain every day. Whether acute or chronic, pain can affect both the body and the mind. Many seniors with these conditions rely on family caregivers and home care providers to help them with daily tasks, because they can’t take care of themselves.
Many elderly adults over the age of 75 have two or more chronic conditions that they must manage. Heath issues like arthritis, fibromyalgia, Crohn’s disease, migraines, diabetes, stroke recovery, shingles, neuropathy, back issues and multiple sclerosis are just a few of the common conditions that may cause pain in seniors. The good news is that thanks to modern medical advances, there are lots of different pain management options that are safe and effective for elderly adults.
Pain Management in Elderly Adults
Too many seniors believe that pain is just part of getting older and feel powerless to do anything about it. However, there are many pain management options that they can try. The first step is to take your aging relative to the doctor, so they can start treating the health issue and discuss different pain management techniques. The doctor will recommend the proper treatment, such as oral or topical medication, surgery or injections.
Besides medication, there are numerous pain management techniques that seniors can try. Physical therapy, occupational therapy, massage therapy and cognitive behavioral therapy can all provide some relief for the elderly adult and teach them ways to live a full life despite chronic pain. A healthy lifestyle can also go a long way toward alleviating pain. Diet, exercise, weight management, restful sleep and no smoking will all give elderly adults the health and strength they need to overcome chronic pain. Since most require assistance from family caregivers and home care providers, it’s important that aging relative has a good support system in place to help them reach their goals.
Nobody wants to live with pain, but there are plenty of things that you can do for your elderly loved one. Take advantage of Pain Awareness Month and tap into all the resources available to learn more about how to help your relative live pain-free.
When you are in need of care for a senior loved one, consider home care provided by Golden Heart Senior Care. We have offices nationwide. For more information, call us today at (800) 601-2792.