How to Assist Your Elderly Parent with Pain Management

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Many seniors live with chronic pain, and they don’t seek any treatment for it, which can lead to mood changes, depression, and a major change in lifestyle. Older adults may assume pain is a natural part of the aging process, or they don’t want to mention it out of fear of being a burden on their family members. Fortunately, if you have an aging parent who is living with some type of pain, there are a few ways to help him or her manage it.

Understand the Reason for the Pain

The first place to start is by learning why your parent is experiencing pain. Is it a symptom of an illness or condition, is it due to an injury, or is it something he or she has lived with for a long time? For example, if your parent is overweight or obese, it may lead to knee or back problems. If your parent is diabetic, he or she may experience issues with neuropathy. A senior with arthritis may experience pain in the joints on a daily basis, while an older adult who sews or types frequently risks developing carpal tunnel. Getting to the root of the issue can guide you toward a practical solution for pain management and potentially cure the pain. 

Hiring a professional caregiver is one of the best ways to help an older adult manage pain. If your senior loved one needs professional in-home care in Prescott, Home Care Assistance is here to help. We are a trusted provider of respite and 24-hour care, and we also offer specialized Alzheimer’s, dementia, Parkinson’s, and stroke care for seniors.

Monitor Medications

One of the quickest and easiest ways to manage pain is by taking prescribed or over-the-counter medications. However, it’s important for seniors to take medications as prescribed by their physicians. Not doing so could interfere with the way they work. If the pain medication doesn’t work, your loved one may be tempted to stop taking it or take a larger dose. Check in occasionally to make sure your loved one is taking the medicines as directed.

Use Distractions

Using distractions can take your loved one’s mind off pain and help him or her live a happy and fulfilling life. When your loved one is in pain, encourage him or her to do something entertaining like watching a TV show or reading a book. Take your loved one out to dinner, or sign up for a class to learn a new hobby together. Simply relaxing and not thinking about it can work wonders for some types of pain. 

Engaging in regular socialization is a good way for older adults to take their mind off pain. For families living in Prescott, respite care can be a wonderful solution when their aging loved ones need companionship and socialization a few hours a week or just need minor assistance with daily household tasks. At Home Care Assistance, we thrive on helping seniors maintain their independence while living in the comfort of home.

Promote Physical Activity

Swimming, yoga, stretching, walking, and weight training are all exercises that may alleviate pain. Exercise also relaxes the body, which may serve as yet another way to distract your loved one from the pain he or she feels. Encourage your loved one to exercise by joining him or her for a walk or swim or finding an activity he or she has always wanted to try.

Look for Alternative Therapies

Acupuncture, physical therapy, massage therapy, hypnosis, and hot and cold therapy are all used to treat and manage pain in older adults. If your loved one is hesitant to take medication or feels medication doesn’t work, it may be time to look into alternative therapies. Talk to your parent’s doctor about how these therapies may benefit your loved one.

Chronic pain is among the many health issues older adults are susceptible to. There are a variety of age-related health conditions that can make it more challenging for seniors to live independently. However, many of the challenges they face can be easier to manage if their families opt for professional senior care. Prescott families can rely on expertly trained caregivers to keep their loved ones safe and comfortable while aging in place. Whether your loved one needs hourly or live-in care, call Home Care Assistance at 928-771-0105 today.