Managing Pain in the Elderly

Managing Pain in the Elderly

As we all grow older, we find that our bodies just don’t work the same way they did when we were younger. Adults who are in poor health or those who are elderly may find that pain becomes more and more of an issue in their daily lives.

Identifying pain is an important part of managing its affect. Whether your family member is living independently or in an assisted living or skilled care facility, it’s a good idea to inquire periodically about any pain they are experiencing.

Just as a medical professional does, ask your elderly family member to assess their pain level on a 1 to 10 scale. If his or her response is toward the top of the scale, that should be brought to their physician’s attention.

Pain can happen in many parts of the body. Joints such as the hip or knee that have become arthritic can cause pain, as well as diseases such as cancer. Unfortunately, some elderly adults view pain as just a part of life. But usually pain above a 5 or 6 needs to be assessed and managed. If it’s frequent or long-lasting, and if it interferes with daily living, it’s definitely something to talk with a physician about.

Sciatic pain can affect the nerves in the hip, buttocks or leg which can interfere with walking or sleeping. That begins a ripple effect on overall health. Arthritic fingers can not only be painful, but the swelling can interfere with fastening clothing or not being able to open food containers.

It’s always advised to talk with the person’s physician before taking over-the-counter pain medications, but if pain continues or worsens, don’t hesitate to follow-up with the doctor. Seniors living with ongoing or increasing pain levels is a difficult and confining issue that can be helped with medical intervention. Because aging can slow the gastrointestinal tract, adverse effects of pain medications should be considered.

At BeeHive Homes, we get to know your family member and assess their overall health on a regular basis. Our caregivers monitor their movements and even facial expressions as a gauge of how each person feels. If we notice changes or what may be an increasing pain level, we can bring it to the family’s attention. Our mission is to provide small, home-like assisted living homes to care for aging adults. We work to provide not only a comfortable home-like environment, but to be alert to any changing health issue in your loved one. If we can help serve your family, please give us a call.

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