December 18, 2020
It’s hard to learn that your senior loved one has suffered an injury. Whether it was a fall or an injury from an activity, you’re left feeling like there was more you could have done to prevent it. But accidents and injuries happen, and the important thing is that you’re ready to help your loved one recover.
Many senior injuries cause older adults to experience pain for some time after they occur. And there’s no doubt that watching someone you love go through chronic pain is challenging. The good news is that there are some easy and effective ways you can help your loved one manage their pain.
When anyone is experiencing pain, it’s natural for them to think that avoiding any activity is the best option. But helping your loved one stay active can actually help strengthen their muscles and joints. Before you start encouraging your senior loved one to start being active again, talk to their doctor. The doctor will be able to give you advice on what kind of activity is the best fit. That way, you don’t push your loved one too hard.
One great way for seniors to stay active is having an in-home care professional there to help. It’s one of the many benefits that Franciscan Care Solutions can offer your family.
If your loved one has chronic pain, massages can be a great natural way to help them manage it. Given how habit-forming some opioids can be, more and more seniors are looking for more natural ways to manage their pain. There are massage professionals that specialize in helping seniors, which can help your loved one feel more comfortable trying it.
Be sure to consult your loved one’s doctor before helping them book a massage. And it’s good practice to inform the massage therapist about any health conditions your loved one might have.
It might not sound that impactful at first, but listening to your loved one can make a big difference. When someone is experiencing chronic pain, it’s natural for them to complain or feel the need to talk about it. The simple act of being there and listening to what your senior loved one has to say can reduce their stress, which can actually help them feel better.
You’ve probably used ice to help reduce the pain of injury, and the same method can be used to help your loved one. Talk with your senior loved one about where they are feeling pain. From there, you can use a warm pack or heating pad to help them manage the pain. Heat usually has better effectiveness with older adults and is great for helping strained muscles.
Whether your loved one uses heat or ice, it’s important that you supervise. That way, you can make sure it’s applied correctly, and that the heat or ice pack doesn’t sit on their skin for too long.
When someone is distracted, their pain can sometimes just vanish from their mind. Think about the last time you took the first sip of a fresh cup of tea when you were sick. In that moment any discomfort seems to melt away.
You can use this feeling to help your loved one manage their pain. Find a few things that they enjoy like a movie or reading them their favorite book. It can be surprising how effective distractions are at times.
At Franciscan Ministries, the health and wellbeing of our residents and the seniors we serve are a top priority. If your loved one is experiencing pain after an injury, we’re here to help. Our Franciscan Care Solutions can offer your loved one expert at-home senior care. And many of our communities have skilled nursing services that can help your senior loved one recover.
If you’re interested in learning more about how Franciscan Ministries can help your loved one reach a higher level of well-being, contact us today.