Health and Fitness

Managing Pains with Aging | Elderly Companion Care UK

Pains management is a growing concern among people aged 65 and above. Sadly, more often than usual elderly don’t tell their doctor about their pain, assuming it is a natural part of aging and doesn’t need any treatment. 

But that’s not true. With slight lifestyle changes and a few gentle exercises, you can help your elderly loved one better manage their pains.

Whether you’re a family caregiver or a paid companion for the elderly in UK, you can take a hint from this post to help your elderly live a pain-free and healthy life.

But before we share some of our tried and tested tips on pains management in the elderly, first, have a quick look at different types of pains and what triggers them.

Types of Pain

By definition, pain is something that causes an unpleasant sensation in the body. In order to manage and reduce pain, you’ll need to have a clear idea of different types of pain. For example;

Chronic pain: If your elderly have experienced pain for more than 6-8 months, they’re suffering from chronic pain. This type of pain can range from mild to severe, and it is usually an outcome of long-term illnesses, such as:

  • Arthritis
  • Back pain
  • Cancer
  • Blood circulation disorders
  • Chronic headache

Acute pain: Acute pain starts suddenly and lasts for a short period of time – usually for a few minutes, hours, days, or months). 

Phantom pain: Seniors who have had a limb amputated may suffer from phantom pain. Previously, medical experts believed that this type of pain is more psychological rather than physical. But over time, they realized that these pain sensations are actually real. 

Nerve pain: Nerve pain is caused by chronic inflammation or nerve damage. This type of pain is also called neuralgia, and it is best described as a sharp burning sensation. 

Nerve pain greatly affects your elderly’s quality of life and also impacts their sleeping patterns. 

Bone pain: Bone pain is another type of pain that causes tenderness or stiffness in one or more of your elderly’s bones.

This type of pain is linked with conditions/diseases that affect the structure/functioning of bones. These conditions include cancer, osteoporosis, leukemia, or bone infections.

Ways to Reduce Pain

Get some basic exercises

Gentle, everyday exercises and workouts will help your elderly stay in good shape. The activity also helps reduce pain by stretching aching and stiff joints or muscles. 

Besides that, regular exercises like swimming, walking, or gardening will shift attention and ease pain by hindering pain signals to the brain. 

Do your research/read books & leaflets

Several books and pain management leaflets are also available. It is recommended to give these resources a read as they will help you become more knowledgeable on how to live better with chronic pain and discomfort. 

Get help from a counselor

Pain can take a toll on your elderly’s health and quality of life. It can make them feel depressed, anxious, and tired. 

We know living with pain isn’t easy. But you can help with the healing process by enabling your elderly loved ones to talk with a counselor who knows about pain management and its impact on the person’s emotional and mental wellbeing.

Shift attention

Distracting your elderly loved one is another smart way to help them think about other important things in life. Get them engaged with activities they enjoy doing. Here we are talking about hobbies like binge-watching, sewing, or cooking – basically things they can do even when their mobility is restricted. 

Get a good night’s sleep

Many people with chronic pain find it cumbersome to sleep well at night. Your role as companion care is to get your elderly to stick to their normal sleeping routine. Remember, sleep deprivation can make your elderly’s pain even worse. 

Keep them engaged throughout the day, so they don’t take naps in the day. It is also essential to consult a doctor if your elderly’s sleep problems persist. 

Take a course

You can also benefit from NHS-based programs designed specifically for people suffering from life-long health conditions and illnesses. Numerous pain toolkit workshops are also available. 

Keep in touch with friends and family

Don’t let pain ruin your elderly’s social life. Help them maintain relationships with their friends and family. You can accompany your elderly on short visits. If a physical visit isn’t an option, you can invite a friend over for a tea or lunch. 

Practice relaxation

Another effective way to reduce chronic pain is to help your elderly practice relaxation. Meditation techniques and relaxation exercises will help your elderly feel peaceful. Also, these practices will significantly reduce pain. 

Do breathing exercises

Encourage your elderly to breathe slowly and deeply when in pain. This will prevent muscle stiffness and help your elderly feel more in control.

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