Helping Seniors With Chronic Pain
Chronic pain can be debilitating if left untreated, and it can be caused by arthritis, diabetes, cancer, or shingles. With loving attention and care, you can help your senior have a better quality of life.
Recognizing Chronic Pain in Seniors
Many seniors are unable or embarrassed to admit they have chronic pain, so caregivers may need to look for signs. Here are some of the signs and symptoms that caregivers should look for: teary eyes or crying.
Treating Chronic Pain in Seniors
Traditional recommendations such as exercise, stretching, or balance tasks may not be feasible for the elderly. Physical therapy is a great option if your loved one is concerned about their mobility. As we age, our gastrointestinal tract slows, which affects drug absorption rates.
When is Chronic Pain an Emergency?
WARNING: These situations involve people who are unable to cope with their pain and should be reported to a doctor right away if they are unable to move or walk due to severe pain. Situations like this require immediate attention and are beyond the scope of normal, daily chronic pain.
How Loved Ones Can Help
Caregivers can help by providing activities, short walks, outings, or just conversation to take their minds off their pain. Make sure they know you care and that you’ll work together to find a treatment for their pain.
How do you help an elderly person in pain?
Alternatives and options for pain
- Hot and cold therapy u2013 apply a heating pad to the area, then apply an ice pack to reduce inflammation and pain. Keeping physically active with exercises or movement routines like yoga or swimming (elders should consult their doctor before beginning a rigorous exercise routine).
What is the most common cause of pain in older adults?
Chronic pain will become more common in older patients, with arthritis, cancer, diabetes mellitus, and cardiovascular and neurologic diseases being the most common causes of chronic pain.
Why do old people deny pain?
In general, older people may be hesitant to report pain despite significant impairment for a variety of reasons, including: They believe that pain is a normal part of aging, and if the resident believes this, they may accept the pain as normal rather than seeking help and pain relief.
What helps the elderly feel better?
Here are five suggestions for enhancing your aging senior’s quality of life.
- Remind Seniors That They Are Useful and Needed.
- Encourage Physical Activity.
- Encourage Mental Activity.
- Keep Them Connected.
- Depression affects millions of seniors over the age of 65.
Which pain reliever is best for seniors?
For most older adults, acetaminophen (brand name Tylenol) is the safest oral OTC painkiller for daily or frequent use, as long as the total dose does not exceed 3,000mg per day.
What helps muscle pain in the elderly?
To treat fibromyalgia, doctors may prescribe muscle relaxants, antidepressants, and anti-seizure medications, as well as natural pain relief treatments like massage and acupuncture.
Why do elderly have so much pain?
The most common cause of chronic pain in the elderly is musculoskeletal disorders such as degenerative spine and arthritic conditions, but other significant causes include neuropathic pain, ischemic pain, and pain related to cancer and its treatment .
Are aches and pains normal in old age?
Why do you get aches and pains as you get older? As you get older, the ligaments and tendons that hold your joints together become “stiff and leathery,” according to Siegrist, and osteoarthritis can cause the cartilage in a joint to wear away, causing aching, soreness, and pain.
What can cause severe leg pain in elderly?
Leg Cramps in the Elderly: What Causes Them?
- Health Conditions. Acute kidney failure. Addison’s disease. Anemia.
- Medications and Procedures. Alzheimer’s medication. Blood pressure drugs. Cholesterol-lowering drugs.
- Lifestyle. Too much high-intensity exercise. Sitting for long periods of time or sitting improperly. Stress.
Is Demerol a good choice for 70 year old?
Meperidine is a poor drug for pain control in elderly patients because it is less likely to provide adequate pain relief and can cause delirium or seizures; use of this drug in vulnerable patients over the age of 65 is considered a sign of poor quality care.
Do older people have a higher pain tolerance?
Older adults may have higher pain thresholds and tolerances, which can be dangerous because it makes them more vulnerable to unrecognized pain and the loss of pain as a warning sign.
What are consequences of pain in older adults?
Reduced mobility, avoidance of activity, falls, depression and anxiety, sleep impairment, and isolation are all linked to pain, and its negative effects extend beyond the patient, disrupting both family and social relationships.
How do you cheer up the elderly?
How to Make Your Elderly Loved Ones Feel Better
- Listen and learn. There is no denying that we live in an ageist society.
- Go through photos and mementos with them.
- Ask them to dance.
- Play games, puzzles, and other activities with them.
What helps elderly anxiety?
When speaking with an older adult who suffers from anxiety:
- Be calm and reassuring.
- Acknowledge their fears but do not play into them.
- Be supportive without enabling their anxiety.
- Encourage them to participate in social activities.
How can I help my lonely elderly?
Seniors’ Tips for Coping with Loneliness
- Plan ahead.
- Start a new hobby.
- Bridge the gap.
- Take a class or seminar.
- Teach someone something.
- Give back.
- Adopt a pet.