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5 Tips for Helping Seniors Manage Pain

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Pain management can become challenging for seniors who may not be able to take certain medications or have pain that is not fully relieved by taking a pill. While you may not be able to eliminate all of your aging loved one’s pain, the following strategies may reduce his or her overall discomfort.

1. Experiment with Different Sensations

The application of heat and cold has long been useful for pain. Typically, heat soothes tense muscles while cold works best for easing inflammation. To see what works, have your loved one experiment with hot and cold packs on the areas of the body that hurt. Stay close by to make sure the temperature doesn’t reach unsafe levels, and have your loved one take short breaks to avoid damaging his or her skin. Massage can also change the sensations your loved one feels, but this should only be done by a professional who understands your loved one’s health condition. 

If your senior loved one needs help managing an illness or assistance with daily tasks, make sure you choose a top-rated provider of home care. Palm Desert Home Care Assistance is here to help your loved one live a happier and healthier life in the golden years. From the mentally stimulating activities in our Cognitive Therapeutics Method to our friendly Care Managers who are available to answer your questions 24 hours a day, we offer a wide array of high-quality at-home care services.

2. Explore Ergonomic Products

Many products exist to help people eliminate pain that comes from poor posture or an inability to hold their limbs in the proper position. For instance, an ergonomic chair can take the strain off of certain parts of your loved one’s back and legs so his or her pain is reduced. To eliminate nighttime pain, your loved one may also benefit from other ergonomic products such as pillows. Standing desks may be ideal for seniors who cannot sit for long periods comfortably but like to write or draw. Using a product that allows your loved one to keep his or her spine and other joints in proper alignment eliminates many types of pain at their source.

3. Plan Distracting Activities

Distraction is a powerful tool that helps people overcome mental and physical anguish. When you know your loved one is going to experience pain, such as after a surgery, plan for safe and relaxing activities to keep him or her distracted. Sharing a laugh with a friend or watching a silly movie together may give your loved one something positive to focus on until he or she feels better.

4. Assist with Therapeutic Exercises

When your loved one’s pain is derived from health issues such as arthritis, therapeutic exercises provide benefits for increasing comfort. During exercise, your loved one’s body is flooded with hormones and endorphins that work as natural pain relievers. Exercise also stimulates blood flow to areas that need to heal, and movement keeps joints limber. Keep in mind your loved one should only do exercises that are approved by the doctor, and he or she may need assistance to do them correctly. Ask your loved one to only work out when you or another caregiver are present so you can ensure his or her safety. 

Many older adults are choosing to age in place, and some need a helping hand to continue living at home safely and comfortably. Luckily, there is professional home care Palm Desert seniors can trust and rely on.

5. Reduce Stress

Daily stress adds up, and the tension your loved one holds in his or her body may increase his or her pain levels. Help your loved one reduce stress by having someone else manage frustrating chores such as housework. Then, work with your loved one to develop relaxation techniques such as deep breathing and meditation to reduce the tension that builds up through the day. Over time, your loved one should experience less pain and have a positive attitude that helps him or her stay motivated for finding natural ways to ease discomfort.

Helping a senior manage pain can be overwhelming. Families who find it difficult to care for their aging loved ones without assistance can benefit greatly from professional respite care. Palm Desert, CA, family caregivers who need a break from their caregiving duties can turn to Home Care Assistance. Using our proprietary Balanced Care Method, our respite caregivers can encourage your loved one to eat well, exercise regularly, get plenty of mental and social stimulation, and focus on other lifestyle factors that promote longevity. Call one of our Care Managers at (760) 345-0001 to learn about our comprehensive care plans.