Senior Chronic Pain: How Current Management Techniques Are Failing

chronic pain

Seniors need a different approach to managing chronic pain.

Because the extensive population of baby boomers continue to get older, and as our life expectancy continues to be extended, our understanding on how to cope with persistent pain has changed accordingly. At present, over 50% of those over age 65 complain of chronic pain—and for ¾ of those battling chronic pain, the pain exhibits in several locations—and it is adversely affecting their physical function and standard of living.

To manage this pain, physicians frequently depend on prescribed opiates, which can lead to contraindications with other medications and substances including alcohol, in addition to serious addiction concerns; and to top it all off, opiates are not shown to be effective long-term for chronic pain—and in fact may exacerbate such ailments.

It’s crucial for you to think about the full spectrum of your senior loved one’s needs when wanting to manage chronic pain: physical, psychological and social.

Physical: Communication between all healthcare providers is key, to ensure all medications prescribed are safe when taken together, and that treatment is tailored to tackle the particular needs of aging adults, taking into consideration slowed metabolism, increased likelihood to utilize or abuse alcohol, physical inactivity, and more. Many seniors also believe it is useful to engage in activities that move the focus away from physical pain, including yoga, meditation and mindfulness.

Psychological: The incidence of depression, dementia and anxiety is increased in older adults. Exploring non-medicated care options such as exercise, cognitive, behavioral, problem-solving, and interpersonal therapy can be useful.

Social: Isolation is a factor for some seniors after the loss of family members, inability to drive, illness, frailty, retirement, and more. Treating the need for enhanced socialization is a critical component of an older adult’s overall wellbeing and health.

Fortunately, a skilled in-home caregiver, such as those at Midnight Sun Home Care, will help seniors physically, emotionally, and socially through a full array of customized care services, including:

  • Medication reminders
  • Picking up prescriptions
  • Planning and preparing wholesome meals
  • Providing transportation and accompaniment to doctor appointments in addition to fun outings, fitness classes and more
  • Serving as a helpful companion to engage in favorite pastimes to minimize loneliness and isolation
  • Plus much more, depending on each individual’s unique needs

The senior personal care Matanuska-Susitna AK team at Midnight Sun is always here to partner with families and improve quality of life for the seniors they love. Contact us at (907) 677-7890 any time to request resources related to your senior loved one’s individual challenges, for additional details on our in-home care solutions, or to set up a free in-home consultation.

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