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A Few Tips for Seniors to Deal with Chronic Pain

As we get older, we become more fragile, making us more prone to a consistent feeling of pain or discomfort across different parts of our bodies. Chronic pain can take many forms, from joint to neuropathic, musculoskeletal to osteoarthritic pain. It would be easy to give up and embrace a sedentary lifestyle, staying inside and doing nothing to avoid the risk of additional pain and suffering. Because daily activities can become a challenge, many seniors take this route and end up deteriorating quickly on physical, mental and emotional levels.

Even though there’s no cure for chronic pain, there are steps that we can take to alleviate some of the pain, slow the aging process, and prevent any issues from escalating. Here are a few basic ways that anyone can easily deal with the chronic pain in their lives:

STEP ONE: Maintain an Active Lifestyle

Did you know that our bodies need to stay in motion to stay fit? The more sedentary we are, the worse chronic pain gets! As we get less and less active, simple actions like standing up and walking become more difficult. Don’t let yourself get to this point – even if you’re making a point to get up and walk around the house every hour, or taking a walk around the neighborhood, you’ll be doing your body a huge favor.

STEP TWO: Take the Right Medication

Talk to your physician about your chronic pain. While not all of it is treatable, a simple anti-inflammatory or even just some aspirin can make a huge difference in your pain levels. Be careful if your physician offers something stronger, though – there are opiates that can alleviate all of your pain but have many side effects including addiction. It’s important to stay educated with sources beyond your doctor to make the intelligent choice for your lifestyle and your needs.

STEP THREE: Try TENS Therapy

TENS stands for Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation, and if your chronic pain is muscular in nature, this solution may be exactly what you need. With your own personal TENS unit, you can attach electrodes to the source of the pain, and a low voltage current passes through the muscle, stimulating your nerves and reducing your pain. Even better, with no side effects, TENS therapy is a win-win situation.

STEP FOUR: Visit a Chiropractor or Massage Therapist

A trained massage therapist may be able to relieve tension in your muscles, and a licensed chiropractor can manually reposition bones after they’ve shifted, helping to alleviate the joint pain that occurs from inflammation and muscle tension. Usually, regular appointments are required to continue to attack the source of the pain, but it can provide much needed solace from your chronic pain.

STEP FIVE: Reduce Stress Levels

Stress causes increased blood pressure, muscle tension and acidic build-up throughout our musculature. If you suffer from chronic pain, increased stress will only serve to increase the pain, and this can cause additional stress, which becomes a vicious cycle. Working on stress-relieving activities such as meditation, yoga, hot showers, or even spending time quietly soaking up the sunlight can serve as a way to break the cycle and reduce your stress levels.

Once you’ve reduced your chronic pain, you might still find it hard to perform some activities around the house. With reduced dexterity and joint pain, household chores can prove to be too difficult. We suggest contacting Compassionate Care to find out more about our in-home care services. From caretaking to companionship, managing medication to light housekeeping and meal prep, we can help you manage your chronic pain at home and keep you happy and healthy.

Using Technology and Adaptive Devices to Make Homes Safer

In addition to helping your senior parents or grandparents through in-home care, how else can you provide them with a safer home environment?

Thanks to modern technology, there are myriad devices out there that can assist adults and improve safety, reduce danger, and increase mobility and awareness. These adaptive devices, when supplemented with in-home care, go a long way towards protecting our elderly loved ones. There are four main types of adaptive devices that you can consider: Wearable Technology, Remote Monitoring Systems, Stairway Assistance, and Mobility Assistive Devices.

Wearable Technology

Smart watches and health monitors have revolutionized health care. Not only can they track sleeping habits, restlessness, exercise habits and heart rate, but the ones worth purchasing have the ability to recognize dangerous falls and send out alerts. Additionally, being able to call for help through a smart watch that’s always on your wrist means that the risk of being left alone in pain is significantly diminished. Your in-home nurse can check how well you slept and monitor your heart rate as well as any potential avenues for risk, as well.

Remote Monitoring Systems

While remote monitoring systems are usually wearable technology as well, they function a little differently. In most cases, they’re designed to alert others when detecting an anomaly, instead of keeping the autonomy solely within your home. From motion sensors to blood sugar alert systems, a remote monitor can detect long periods of non-movement, falls, or more, and alert emergency services immediately. In many situations, the information can be transmitted directly to your doctor, as well, saving time when it is at an absolute premium.

Stairway Assistance

While this requires a little bit of remodeling, it can beat the alternative of moving to a new home with no steps. Adding in lifts, temporary stair railings, or a stair climbing chair can provide a means for anyone to get up- and downstairs safely and with ease. Even small steps from a home entrance to a living room or from one section of the house to the other should have a railing installed, as well as treads and safety grips on the floor itself.

Mobility Assistive Devices

On the simpler side, walking poles can allow you to stay mobile while decreasing the risk of an injury. They feel more athletically-inclined than a walker or cane and can help retain dignity and independence at the same time. Additionally, the use of assistive seating devices can help lift you from a seating position to a standing position (and vice versa), giving you freedom to sit and stand without relying on anyone else’s help.

Being safe and independent at the same time is important, so whether you’re doing this for yourself or for a loved one who lives alone, a combination of adaptive technologies and in-home care from a trusted provider like Compassionate Care is the best solution for living and aging gracefully!