Pain and Aging
Pain is not a normal part of aging. Many older adults think that no one wants to hear about their aches and pains, so they are hesitant to complain or ask for help when they are hurt. If you have pain, it’s best to see your doctor. Don’t dismiss it as a part of aging or think that you just have to live with it. Pain is easier to treat and mange when it’s assessed early.
Additional Pain Treatment Tips
- Encourage your older loved ones to be honest when they are in pain. Look for facial expressions or body language that may indicate a level of pain that they are unwilling to discuss. Ask about the pain on a level of 0 (no pain) to 10 (extremely intense pain).
- You and your loved one should visit the doctor together to discuss the pain and any prescribed medications. All medication instructions should be followed whether or not the pain is still present. Taking pain medication at regular intervals, rather than just when feeling pain, keeps the medicine level in the blood high enough to drive pain away.
- Home remedies for reducing pain include:
* Warm bathing or showers; heat relaxes muscles and reduces pain.
* Cool clothes or ice for inflammation and swelling to cool the skin.
* Relaxation with slow breathing and soft seat cushions or pillows.
- If the pain hasn’t subsided or if it begins appearing in new areas after receiving prescription medication, call your doctor.
- Pain should not prevent a healthy lifestyle. Changes in sleep or mobility due to pain should be reported as soon as possible.
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