June 18, 2018
Since the large population of baby boomers continues to age, and as our life expectancy continues being extended, our understanding in regards to coping with chronic pain has expanded accordingly. Presently, more than half of those over age 65 complain of consistent pain – and for ¾ of those fighting chronic pain, the pain exhibits in multiple locations – and is unfavorably impacting their physical function and well-being.
To manage chronic pain, all too often physicians depend on prescribed opiates, which can lead to contraindications with other medications and substances including alcohol, in addition to serious addiction concerns; and to top it all off, opiates are not shown to be effective long-term for chronic pain – and in fact may exacerbate such ailments.
It’s crucial for you to think about the full spectrum of senior needs when attempting to manage chronic pain: physical, psychological, and social.
Physical: Communication between all healthcare providers is key, to make certain that all prescribed medications are safe when taken with each other, and that treatment is modified to address the precise needs of seniors, taking into consideration slowed metabolism, greater likelihood to use or abuse alcohol, physical inactivity, and more. Many older adults also think it is advantageous to take part in activities that shift the focus from the physical pain, including yoga, meditation and mindfulness.
Psychological: The frequency of depression, dementia and anxiety is increased in older adults. Exploring non-medicated care options such as exercise, cognitive, behavioral, problem-solving, and interpersonal therapy may be beneficial.
Social: Isolation is an issue for many older adults, due to loss of friends, inability to operate a vehicle, illness, frailty, retirement, and more. Handling the requirement for enhanced socialization is a critical element of an older adult’s all-around wellbeing and health.
- Medication reminders
- Picking up prescriptions
- Planning and preparing nutritious meals
- Providing transportation and accompaniment to doctor appointments as well as fun outings, fitness classes, and more
- Serving as a friendly companion to take part in favorite pastimes and minimize loneliness and isolation
- And more, depending on each individual’s unique needs
Call Continuum, the top provider of home care in St Charles, MO, at (314) 863-9912 to request resources pertaining to your senior loved one’s particular challenges, for additional details on our in-home care solutions, or to schedule a no-cost, in-home consultation.