One of the most common conditions among the elderly is chronic pain, and it can decrease independence and negatively impact mental health. The pain is unpleasant and often leads to combative behavior. Below are some tips that can help your elderly loved one handle chronic pain and boost his or her quality of life.
1. Stay Active
Chronic aches are often due to normal wear and tear on the body and the loss of bone density. However, staying active in the senior years can boost bone health and reduce tension in the joints and muscles, making it easier for seniors to move around with less pain. Some of the best ways to address pain and treat issues such as arthritis include walking, leg lifts, cycling, and water aerobics. Your loved one should consult his or her doctor about creating a safe exercise regimen that can increase muscle strength and balance without causing more pain or resulting in an injury.
A professional caregiver can help your loved one exercise in safety and comfort. For some families, caring for a senior loved one can be overwhelming at times. Luckily, they can rely on professional respite care. Kingwood, TX, Home Care Assistance is a trusted name in respite and hourly care. Our caregivers are available around the clock to assist seniors with bathing, transportation, medication reminders, exercise, and much more, allowing families the time they need to focus on other important responsibilities or just take a break.
2. Stop Smoking
Smoking cigarettes can contribute to the deterioration of spinal discs and increase pain in the joints, so your loved one should give up this habit as soon as possible. Some of the best ways to stop smoking include eating healthy snacks, taking up calming forms of exercise such as yoga, and engaging in hobbies that enhance mood and boost physical health.
If your parent needs help adopting healthier habits, a home caregiver can be a strong source of constant support. Not every senior has the same care needs, which means they don’t all need the same type of senior home care. Kingwood families can rely on Home Care Assistance to provide individualized care plans to meet your elderly loved one’s unique care needs. Our holistic Balanced Care Method was designed to help seniors focus on healthy lifestyle habits such as eating nutritious foods, exercising regularly, and maintaining strong social ties, and our Cognitive Therapeutics Method offers mentally stimulating activities that can stave off cognitive decline and delay the onset of dementia.
3. Take Medications
In some instances, chronic pain becomes unbearable, so a doctor may need to prescribe medicines to give your parent relief. Your loved one must closely follow the treatment plan to avoid taking too much medication. When your loved one takes more medicine than necessary, his or her body could become immune to the drugs, and the pain could worsen. Find useful ways for your loved one to manage his or her medications, such as using smartphone apps and pillboxes or hiring a respite caregiver to provide your parent with medication reminders.
4. Reduce Alcohol Consumption
Drinking beer and liquor could lead to nerve damage that increases pain. Alcohol can increase the production of lactic acid, leading to muscle soreness and weakness. Alcoholic beverages also damage amino acids and reduce metabolism. The resulting lack of energy prevents muscles from recovering, and the pain becomes extreme. Instead of drinking beer or liquor, your parent should drink wine in moderation. However, to address chronic pain, it would be best if your parent stops drinking altogether.
5. Join a Support Group
Receiving support and guidance from other people living with chronic pain can make your loved one feel less alone. The group can provide pain management tips and suggest healthy lifestyle choices. Depression is common among aging adults with chronic pain, but joining a support group or meeting with mental health professionals can reduce anxiety and boost mental wellbeing. Avoiding negative thoughts can prevent pain from worsening and reduce combativeness.
A compassionate home caregiver can be a tremendous source of support for a senior living with chronic pain. In-home care professionals can be a wonderful boon to seniors. Whether they require around-the-clock supervision or just need assistance with exercise and household tasks a few days a week, seniors can enjoy a higher quality of life with the help of trusted in-home caregivers. Trust your loved one’s care to the professionals at Home Care Assistance. Reach out to one of our compassionate Care Managers today at 832-412-1345.