Having to manage constant and sometimes crippling pain can lead seniors to withdraw from activities and relationships, and to stop taking part in aspects of their lives that are fulfilling and enjoyable. In many cases, seniors just accept pain as a part of growing older and may not seek out support and treatment. Caregivers and loved ones should remain attentive to changes in behavior so they can encourage seniors to take good care of their health and integrate effective treatment strategies. This can help implement physical and mental health techniques to deal with the challenges and effects that accompany chronic pain.
Chronic Pain, as opposed to acute pain, is pain that lasts for a prolonged period of time. This type of stubborn pain is often rooted in a larger chronic condition in the body, but there are some circumstances in which no specific cause of pain can be identified. In these cases, the chronic pain is described as an illness in itself.
Chronic pain can be overpowering and can feel as though it is taking over seniors’ lives, but there are strategies and behaviours that can be integrated to help offer some relief from pain and to help stop the existing patterns of discomfort.
Many seniors accept pain as a part of the aging process, and might just try to push through it rather than seeking help. However, it is recommended that seniors talk to a healthcare professional if they are experiencing chronic pain to work towards identifying underlying causes and addressing the issues before things worsen. The following are some signs and symptoms that caregivers and loved ones can look out for which may indicate the existence of chronic pain:
Each person reacts in a different way to pain, so the list above is by no means exhaustive or complete. There are many behavioural or emotional changes that can suggest that seniors are dealing with pain, so keep an eye out for any visible or identifiable changes, start a conversation, and seek support.
Seek support and assistance to manage chronic pain is essential for mental and physical health. Studies have shown that there is an important link between pain and depression due to the associated negative feelings and emotions. Depression itself has also been shown to heighten the experience of pain, creating a circle in which chronic pain and depression continue to reinforce one another. For this reason, among others, it is crucial that seniors find support to manage pain and keep their bodies and minds as healthy as possible.
The realities of chronic pain make it so that the discomfort and debilitating impacts will not just naturally go away with time. To really deal with chronic pain, and learn to live a comfortable and happy life despite it, seniors must make some purposeful decisions and integrate tools and strategies. The following are some steps seniors can take to address chronic pain:
The reality of chronic pain is that it is often extremely difficult to manage every day, but there are ways to keep on living a happy and fulfilling life in spite of it. Planning to meet with a healthcare professional in Kitchener, Waterloo, Cambridge, talking through treatment options, and making use of support networks can all help seniors keep on living positive, happy, and enriching lives.