Burning. Aching. Stinging. That’s the way in which many older adults who have chronic pain explain what they live with on an daily basis. Chronic pain may occur anywhere in the body, sometimes for no apparent reason whatsoever. It’s characterized by pain that lasts for more than three months, either nonstop or coming and going. And it is more common than you might think, affecting one in four of us in the United States.
Needless to say, such constant pain can have a huge influence on an older adult’s wellbeing. Not only does it affect the ability to undertake daily physical projects and activities, but it causes psychological tension too, commonly causing anxiety, exhaustion, moodiness, depression, insomnia, and more.
Chronic Pain Treatments for Older Adults
A number of elements go into the determination of how to best help an older adult with chronic pain, including the presumed or known cause of the pain, how significant the pain is, where in the body it happens, and age/overall health. There are several medication-based treatments to relieve pain, including treatment for any psychological effects being experienced.
Also, the physician may want to try an epidural steroid injection, nerve block, or transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation, which involves small electric impulses delivered via skin patches.
There might be undesirable side effects from these types of treatments, and a few are quite serious, so the physician will want to carefully consider what’s right for the older adult.
Lifestyle Changes for Older Adults with Chronic Pain
Lifestyle changes for older adults are usually a good starting place, as they can be implemented right away without negative impacts. Several suggestions from our experts in home care in Centennial, CO and nearby areas include:
- Dietary changes. Certain foods can cause inflammation, which can worsen pain. An anti-inflammatory diet that cuts out refined carbohydrates and red meat may be advised by the doctor or a nutritionist.
- Stress reduction. Raised stress levels can have a significant effect on chronic pain. There are a variety of techniques to lower stress that can help, such as deep breathing, meditation or prayer, taking a warm, relaxing bath, reading, or listening to calming music.
- Exercise. Though it may seem hard to think about working out while in pain, low-intensity workouts are in fact beneficial, and can also help with reducing stress. Ask the physician for specific ideas.
- Rest. Sufficient sleep is key to general health and wellness. Additionally, there is a connection between sleep deficiency and weight gain, something that can further intensify chronic pain. Let the physician know if insomnia is a problem so they can provide guidance on safe methods to improve sleep habits.
Home Care Services Can Help!
Let the home care team at Abby Senior Care, a trusted provider of in-home care in Centennial, CO and the surrounding communities, help an older adult you love better navigate life with chronic pain. There are countless ways our caregivers can improve wellbeing, including:
- Companionship – having someone to talk to and participate in enjoyable activities with is a good mood-booster
- Motivation to take part in advised exercise programs
- Healthy meals
- Assistance with housework and laundry
- Medication reminders
- Transportation to medical appointments and anywhere else a senior would like to go
- Plus much more