Comfort Keepers Elderly Care Services in San Antonio, TX & How To Deal With Pain As A Senior Citizen
Elderly Care Services from Comfort Keepers in San Antonio, TX discuss how you can help your senior loved one deal with pain
Elderly care services professionals know that an overwhelming number of senior citizens deal with chronic pain on a daily level. According to data from the American Geriatrics Association, as many as half of all people over the age of 65 that are still staying at home are living with chronic pain. When it comes to older adults living in nursing homes and assisted living facilities, the numbers are much worse, with as much as 80% of the population reporting chronic pain.
Although people of all ages can develop chronic pain, it can have a much worse effect on older people. This is because a senior's body is already naturally weaker. Elderly care services professionals know that if not effectively treated, chronic pain can even incapacitate a senior, making them unable to take care of themselves on their own and lead to depression and other psychological conditions such as anxiety, social anxiety and insomnia.
Chronic pain can be distinguished from acute pain by a number of factors. Elderly care services professionals know that acute pain is most often caused by something out of the blue and is much more severe. However, chronic pain lasts much longer - at least over six months.
Just like in people of all ages, chronic pain in seniors can be caused by any number of factors. These include injury, infection, arthritis, back pain, nerve damage and fibromyalgia.
The most important thing seniors living with chronic pain must realize is that they can never give into the pain. One must learn to enjoy life in spite of challenges.
Older generations face a particular set of challenges when it comes to chronic pain besides weakness. Elderly care services professionals know that many seniors may have trouble discussing pain, but they may also be unable to because of other chronic conditions such as Alzheimer's. Having a caregiver around can make a major difference in a senior's life as a trained professional will be able to spot non-verbal signs of pain such as unnaturally shut eyes, groans, clenched fists, stiff movement, and loss of appetite.
As far as treatment is concerned, many medical professionals believe that activity and proper nutrition may be the best way to combat chronic pain. Activity makes us stronger and more able to meet challenges head on as does the right diet.
However, physical activity and diet are simply not possible for many seniors and treatment with prescription medication can help. The World Health Organization has developed a three-step pain ladder for chronic pain treatment. The first ladder is for the lightest chronic pain levels and here over-the-counter drugs like Tylenol and anti-inflammatories are prescribed. The next step on the pain ladder usually includes opioids like Percocet and Vicodin. The final and most severe step on the chronic pain treatment ladder entails the strongest available opioids like morphine.
Seniors can also try alternative pain management methods such as going to a chiropractor or trying meditation or hypnosis.