Older adults are more likely to experience pain than any other age group, but many cases go untreated because seniors don’t share the discomfort with their family caregivers or primary care physicians. As a family caregiver, you should encourage your senior loved one to be honest at all times so you can provide the treatment he or she deserves. Here are some of the most common ways to treat pain in the elderly.
Encourage Physical Activity
Being in pain doesn’t have to prevent seniors from working out and relieving tense muscles or joints. One of the most common causes of pain in older adults is inflammation, and following a healthy exercise routine is one way to treat the problem. Inflammation is generally associated with joint health because arthritis is a top cause of swelling and pain for seniors. Find low-impact exercises for your parent to try, such as swimming or water aerobics. The buoyancy of the water can prevent putting too much pressure on the joints. Instead, the water will soothe the pain and increase range of motion.
If your loved one has difficulty exercising because of health or mobility challenges, consider enlisting the help of a professional caregiver who is trained in senior home care. La Mesa seniors can benefit from a caregiver who provides stability for walking and assistance with stretching. A caregiver can also coordinate with your loved one’s doctor to help with prescribed forms of physical therapy.
Promote Good Sleep
Seniors who get at least eight hours of sleep each night can reduce the amount of pain they feel throughout their bodies. Sleep loss can increase levels of inflammatory markers in older adults, leading to more pain and restless nights. However, the more sleep your loved one gets, the better his or her odds of reducing inflammation will be. Rest is also a critical factor in the recovery process. While sleeping, the body builds muscle, a process that happens more efficiently during sleep. If seniors don’t get adequate sleep, their bodies cannot fully recover, increasing the risk of joint pain and lower metabolism.
Speak with the Doctor about Medication Dosage
There are various pain relievers your loved one’s primary care physician may prescribe to treat pain. If the medications aren’t helping, let the doctor know immediately. Older adults handle pain medication differently than younger adults for different reasons. For example, aging causes blood flow in the liver to decrease, making it difficult for the liver to break down certain medications, including pain relievers. In these instances, primary care physicians can prescribe lower dosages or alternate prescriptions that are more effective at treating pain.
Massage is a great way for older adults to relieve pain due to poor circulation. Plaque buildup in the arteries and blood vessels causes the muscles to stiffen, leading to pain and other serious health issues. You can help your loved one treat this type of pain by increasing blood flow throughout the body. Having a massage can increase blood circulation and joint mobility, enhance posture, and allow the muscles to work together without causing excessive friction on the skin.
Seniors who live with pain on a regular basis can benefit from the ideas listed above, but some may need extra help so they don’t have to live with unnecessary levels of discomfort. The compassionate professionals at Coast Care Partners can help your loved one live in greater comfort and safety with in-home care. La Mesa, CA, families should reach out to us today at 619-354-2544 to learn about the high quality of our in-home services.