Because the expansive population of baby boomers continues to age and our life expectancy continues being extended, our thoughts about coping with chronic pain have expanded accordingly. At present, over 50% of those over age 65 complain of persistent pain – and for ¾ of those dealing with chronic pain, the pain displays in a number of locations – and is unfavorably affecting their physical function and standard of living.
To handle this pain, too often, physicians depend on prescribed opiates that may result in contraindications with other medications and substances such as alcohol, along with serious addiction concerns; and to top it all off, opiates are not shown to be reliable long-term for chronic pain. As a matter of fact, they may actually intensify such ailments.
It’s important that you take into account the full spectrum of older adult needs when attempting to manage chronic pain: physical, psychological and social.
Physical: Communication between all medical providers is key to ensure all medications prescribed are safe when taken with each other, and that treatment is tailored to address the particular needs of seniors, taking into consideration slowed metabolism, greater likelihood to utilize or abuse alcohol, physical inactivity, and more. Many older adults also find that it’s helpful to engage in activities that move the main focus away from physical pain, including yoga, meditation and mindfulness.
Psychological: The prevalence of depression, dementia and anxiety is increased in the elderly. Exploring non-medicated care options including exercise, cognitive, behavioral, problem-solving, and interpersonal therapy can be useful.
Social: Isolation is a factor for most seniors, as a result of loss of family, inability to drive, illness, frailty, retirement, and more. Handling the need for enhanced socialization is a significant aspect of an older adult’s overall well-being and health.
Picking up prescriptions
Planning and preparing balanced meals
Providing transportation and accompaniment to doctor appointments as well as fun outings, exercise classes, and much more
Serving as a friendly companion to take part in favorite activities to alleviate loneliness and isolation
And much more, depending on each individual’s unique needs
Call JFS Care, the Burbank elder care local families trust, any time at (213) 383-2273 or contact us online to request resources related to your senior loved one’s particular challenges. We offer a complimentary in-home assessment and would be happy to share more information with you about our home care services in Burbank and the surrounding communities.