5 Ways to Help a Senior Loved One Manage Chronic Pain

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Helping a Senior Loved One Manage Chronic Pain in Columbus, OH

Many seniors live with chronic pain due to health issues such as arthritis. While it can be difficult to watch as someone you love experiences pain, it does help to know you have many tools at your disposal you can use to keep your aging loved one comfortable. Try these five tactics to manage your loved one’s pain so he or she enjoys better wellbeing.

1. Start Low and Go Slow with Medications

Older adults with chronic pain are often prescribed medications to help them feel better. Many physicians today are veering away from habit-forming medications such as opioids. While this minimizes the risk of addiction, your loved one might be tempted to use a larger amount of a weaker pain medication. Encourage your loved one to always follow the doctor’s instructions. It’s better to start with a low dose to gauge its effects before taking more, as this lowers the risk of side effects that can cause injuries and more pain.

If your loved one needs help managing his or her medications, consider hiring a professional caregiver. In Columbus, senior care 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. Explore the Benefits of Massage

The power of the human touch is amazing. Chronic neck, back, or shoulder pain can be better managed when the muscles are limber. If your loved one wants to try massage, make sure to check with his or her doctor to ensure it’s safe first. Then, look for someone who’s experienced in working with seniors. Your loved one also needs to notify the massage therapist about any health conditions he or she has. After the massage, your loved one should notice that his or her body feels looser with less pain.

3. Encourage Continued Physical Activity

When someone is in pain, the natural response may be to avoid movement. However, regular physical activity keeps the joints and muscles strong. An exercise routine can also stimulate the body to release pain-relieving endorphins. Although you should never push your loved one past his or her limit, it’s okay to offer encouragement to take a walk or do some chair exercises if he or she is capable. If your loved one has limited mobility, you can hire an in-home caregiver to assist with physical activity.

In-home care experts are available to provide high-quality care to seniors on an as-needed basis. From assistance with mobility and exercise to providing transportation to the doctor’s office and social events, there are a variety of ways professional caregivers can help your aging loved one continue to live independently.

4. Try Using Heat or Ice to Relieve Inflammation

Talk to your loved one’s doctor about which types of temperatures can relieve pain. For many seniors, a warm pack placed across the back of the shoulders can reduce inflammation in strained muscles so they feel more comfortable. Your loved one may also benefit from using ice to relieve inflammation in the joints. Always supervise your loved one when using heat or ice for pain relief to make sure he or she doesn’t fall asleep and have the pack sit too long on one part of the skin.

5. Use Distraction Techniques

Pain sometimes magically seems to go away when a person is too busy to notice it’s there. Help your loved one find activities that keep him or her from ruminating on the pain. You can also teach your loved one how to meditate and practice mindfulness to redirect his or her thoughts away from painful sensations in the body.

Managing chronic pain can make it easier to remain independent while aging in place. Living independently is important for seniors who want to maintain a high quality of life. For some, this simply means receiving help with tasks that have become more challenging to manage over time. Even when families have the best intentions, they may not have the time to provide the care their elderly loved ones need and deserve. If your loved one needs help for a few hours a day or a few days a week, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a trusted provider of respite care Columbus, Ohio, seniors can depend on. To find out more about how our dedicated caregivers can help your loved one enjoy a happier and healthier life, call us today at (614) 481-8888.


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