Almost all seniors today face some degree of pain and soreness. But up to
35% of all seniors face chronic pain resulting in depression and can
greatly affect their daily life. Often this chronic pain goes undiagnosed
or overlooked, and only after life is negatively altered is it caught and
treated. Some of the obvious chronic pain symptoms include limping,
moaning, spending more time in bed, and reduction in activity. Often it is
left up to the caregiverís discretion surrounding the severity of the
pain, because the loved one usually refuses help and does not want to
visit a doctor. Once the pain is realized, the next step is finding the
right doctor who can locate the pain and find a probable cause.
As a caregiver, understanding the aspects of pain management can greatly
help your loved one return to better health and daily living. The most
common recommendations made by doctors in the treatment of pain include:
Medication- Doctors usually are not eager to prescribe pain
relievers that may be abused or simply looked at to numb the pain.
Commonly prescribed medications include analgesics and narcotics, but
both have potentially adverse effects associated with them.
Cortisone Treatments- This can be done through creams or injections
into the affected muscles, but it usually only dulls the pain and
should not be used for any extended period.
Regular Exercise- Routines that involve weights and stretching can
correct oneís pain and body movement, as well as enhancing your
loved oneís well-being in the process.
Other Health Alternatives- Treatments such as acupuncture, yoga,
and meditation may correct some pain, but these approaches are not for
everyone, and do not work on all pain sufferers.
Advice to Caregivers- Doctors are always reminding caregivers to
remain positive and supportive to ensure that they can cope and deal
with the daily pain and struggle their loved one faces.
Dietary Changes- Doctors also urge your loved ones to cut back on
any high fat, cholesterol rich foods that may dampen their ability to
respond to treatment.
Lifestyle Changes- Often it is activities such as smoking,
excessive sleeping, and general laziness that prevents the body from
reaching its daily potential and causes pain to begin in other parts
of the body. Avoiding such unnecessary habits could spell less pain
for your loved one.
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