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Caregiver Challenges: Helping Your Parents Cope with Chronic Pain

Caregivers in Turnersville, NJ

Caregivers-in-Turnersville-NJYou never want to think about your aging loved ones being in pain, but for many elderly adults, chronic pain is simply a reality of daily life. This means that finding ways to help your parents’ manage this pain while still maintaining their independence and autonomy as much as possible should be a central focus of your caregiver efforts so that you can help your loved ones maintain their highest quality of life.

Chronic pain can come from a wide variety of issues from lingering effect of injuries, arthritis, illnesses, and other problems. Regardless of the reasons behind the chronic pain, if your parents are suffering from chronic pain, they could also be suffering from the mental and emotional impact of this pain, including depression, anxiety, and feelings of hopelessness.

Some ways that you can help your parents cope with chronic pain include:

• Confront it. Many seniors try to downplay how much pain they are in and how much it is impacting their lives because they feel like they are being weak or overdramatic. This just means that they are suffering more pain than they need to. By confronting the pain and being honest with you and their doctor about it, your parents relieve some of their emotional suffering and put themselves in the position of receiving the best care for their particular needs. Bring them to the doctor and help them open up about their pain so that the doctor knows what is going on and is able to work with your parents to find the right course of treatment.

• Use devices. Encourage your parents to take advantage of the technology that is available to them that will help them maintain their activity level and complete care tasks. Some of this technology includes assistive devices such as walkers, wheelchairs, and scooters, as well as items such as reaching clamps, shoe devices that help them put on their shoes without having to bend, and shower chairs to allow for a more relaxing and safe bathing experience.

• Stay active cautiously. Activity can help to relieve pain, but it is essential to do this responsibly. You do not want your parents to push themselves too far and experience even higher degrees of pain just because they are trying to not “give in” to their pain. Encourage them to listen to their bodies and take breaks when they need to so that they can protect their bodies and preserve their future quality of life.

• Find distractions. Sometimes medication, treatments, and activity is simply not enough to ease pain. When this happens, your parents need to think about something else to help keep their mind off of the pain. Come up with fun and accessible distractions so that your parents can turn their attention away from their pain. Playing music that they enjoy, watching a favorite movie, or reading a favorite book aloud can be a fantastic distraction.

• Enjoy something sweet. Studies have shown that tasting something sweet actually reduces the sensation of pain and helps people endure greater levels of pain for longer. When your parents are coping with particularly stressful pain, offer them a sweet treat such as a lollipop, a piece of hard candy, or some fresh fruit.

For all of your caregiver needs in Turnersville, NJ and the surrounding areas call and talk to us at Home to Stay Healthcare Solutions (856) 321-1500.

Andrew Dubler

Home to Stay Health Care Solutions (H2S) is a solutions minded, non-medical home care company enabling seniors and disabled members of our community to stay at home.
Home to Stay Senior Care Solutions is owned and operated by the Dubler and Skole Families and was started because of experiences they had with their own Families. In one situation Mom was living alone and had a fall. It was not until this fall that the family realized they were unprepared.

When it was time for their Mom to come home, she needed companion and personal care to assist her and prevent another accident. Like most people in this situation, they were confused and did not know where to go for help. It was this life-changing experience that lead to starting a home care company that is focused on enabling those who wish to stay at home and age in place.
Andrew Dubler