Chronic pain is pain that lasts for more than three months. The pain can either be felt all of the time, or it may come and go. It can happen anywhere in the body. For your elderly loved one, chronic pain may interfere with her daily activities, such as taking care of the home, having a social life, and taking care of herself. It can cause depression, anxiety, and trouble sleeping, which can make the pain worse. This response creates a cycle that’s difficult to break. Hiring home care assistance providers could help with some of the ideas here.
For those reasons, it’s important to help your aging loved one manage her pain as well as possible at home. Managing the pain doesn’t always mean eliminating it; it is meant to help your parent tolerate it and hopefully reduce its effect on her day-to-day living. When it does interfere, having a home care assistance provider help with activities your parent cannot do because of the pain, will help reduce any stress that comes along with the worry of not getting something done (like the laundry, the floors, or even making meals).
Here are some classic home remedies to help your loved one manage pain at home. Depending upon where the pain is and the source of the pain, your parent and you should review these options with her doctor before starting any of them to determine the best way to participate in them.
Stay Active. Activities like walking, swimming, or yoga can help reduce pain. While it can be hard to imagine getting up and moving while in pain, once moving, the body often starts to feel a bit better and “forget” about the pain. If not sure how much activity your loved one can handle, it might be comforting to her to have someone like a family member or her home care assistance provider participate with her or at least be nearby if she needs assistance.
Ask for Help. If certain motions cause pain to flare, your parent might need to ask for help with tasks that use those motions. For example, if pushing a lawnmower or a vacuum causes pain, look for a home health care provider to take those chores off of your parent’s task list.
Get Plenty of Sleep. The body can fight pain better when it’s well-rested. Help your loved one find a good routine for sleeping and waking and then be consistent about it.
Get Distracted. Sometimes pain can get better if a person stops thinking about it. Help your parent find activities she enjoys to take her mind off of the chronic pain. Pleasant distractions can provide endorphins which boost mood and alleviate pain. It might be gardening, coloring, or cooking, for just a few suggestions.
Relax. While chronic pain may make relaxing seem impossible, with some intentional relaxation practices, your parent might find she’ll benefit from yoga, meditation, or prayer.
If the pain gets worse or other symptoms come alongside the pain, plan a visit to your loved one’s physician to get medical help as needed.