Numerous age-related illnesses induce discomfort and inflammation, reducing mobility and diminishing life expectancy. However, there are several safe and efficient treatments to treat chronic pain in the elderly. Of course, all seniors should be talking to their doctors about how to best manage chronic pain and some seniors may need to find home health care professionals who understand what they’re going through.
Certain home health care professionals may be doctors, nurses, or physical therapists who understand how to handle chronic pain management. They can work with you or other caregivers to help you understand what your senior should be doing every day. You will want to learn what makes chronic pain better or worse.
What Makes Pain Worse for Seniors
There are a variety of additional variables that impact the intensity of chronic pain at any one moment. Without the use of medicine, improving these parameters may make a significant impact on the chronic pain experienced by older persons. Even when pain medication is required, addressing these concerns may improve the efficacy of any therapy, offering seniors greater pain relief with fewer side effects.
Common consequences of persistent pain include:
- Limited mobility
- Limited activity
- Poorly controlled conditions like diabetes
- Eating issues that may need a specialist
- Self-care issues
- Medication side effects
- Mental health conditions
To discover all these aspects of a senior’s life, caregivers, family members, and medical professionals must collaborate. Nevertheless, given the potential for pain reduction, it is worth the effort to make these lifestyle and health changes and learn how to manage bereavement before resorting to medicine or other treatments.
Pain Management Techniques
As with the millions of younger individuals who have chronic pain each year, most of the pain care in the elderly involves the use of medicine. Seniors may utilize a variety of safe and effective pain medicines, even for secondary ailments. However, older adults are likely to take at least one or more other medications that may interfere with these pain medicines. Before altering a senior’s routine, it is essential that all drugs be monitored, discussed with, and authorized by a medical practitioner, and that any drug interactions be identified. In addition to pain medication, three alternative strategies are advised for the safe treatment of pain in patients of all ages.
Medications May Help
Even for severe chronic pain, over-the-counter medications such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medicines (NSAIDs) and acetaminophen are the first therapy indicated. Acetaminophen has the highest compatibility with various drugs and ailments that a senior may be taking or have. NSAIDs are extensively used to manage inflammation, particularly among senior persons, although they are not appropriate for all patients. Prescription pain medication, and even opioids, may be safer than nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) for the treatment of severe pain or in elderly patients with liver or renal disease.
Physical Therapy from Home Health Care Aides is a Good Choice
Fall hazards, arthritis, hip replacements, and other issues make it difficult for elders to engage in physical activity. Instead of stretching and training muscle groups, other forms of physical therapy are often prescribed for relieving certain kinds of pain. This may be as basic as applying ice and heat, which is something that many elders can do on their own. Often, using physical methods to decrease inflammation and discomfort is the first step in lowering the usage of medications that may have undesirable side effects.