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Although we all are familiar with pain, and chronic pain can be considered a normal part of life, it is important to recognise worsening pain, new pain or pain that needs to be given medical attention. This blog post will review the steps for recognising pain and how to manage or address pain.

Checking in on Severity – Pain can be quite manageable, like a headache. Take a few Advil, and you could reasonably continue your day. However, sometimes the pain is much more severe, but how can we accurately gauge if there have been any changes in our pain? The best way is to use a pain scale, with a range of one to ten, one being practically non-existent pain and 10 being the absolute worst pain you’ve ever felt. It’s a good idea to try to set a baseline, a number where the pain typically resides around and to take note if it changes.

Location, Location, Location – When you’re taking note of any pain you have, it’s important to keep an eye on where the pain is coming from. If the pain is staying in one place, if it’s radiating or referring to other areas, or if the type of pain changes (such as from dull to sharp, or an ache into a pinch). These sorts of details can help medical professionals determine causes or possible conditions that are affecting you, especially if there is a negative change from whatever your normal is.

Non-Verbal Signs – Maybe you’re concerned that your loved one may be in pain. When you ask them, they say that they’re fine, so what can you do to check? Look out for non-verbal signs that could indicate that they are in pain. This could include anything from facial grimaces/frowns, restlessness/agitation, guarding a particular area of pain, a compensating position (such as putting on a shoe or jacket in an irregular way), or even constantly shifting their position. These can be the non-verbal signs that could show without telling you that your loved one may be in pain.

Now that we know what to watch for, the question is how we can manage pain, especially if it’s chronic. Here are some elderly care ideas:

Encouraging Gentle Physical Activity

When dealing with chronic pain, the thought of exercise may feel daunting or unattainable. However, consistent movement can often provide relief for many underlying causes of pain. For instance, seniors with arthritis often report decreased discomfort as they engage in joint movement throughout the day.

Consider incorporating enjoyable and low-impact activities into your loved one’s routine, such as walking, chair exercises, or yoga. These options can be beneficial and aid in alleviating chronic pain.

Encourage Distraction

It’s interesting to note that feeling happy can enhance one’s ability to manage pain. For seniors engaging in enjoyable activities can distract them from pain and even help them cope better. As a caregiver, you could assist your loved one in finding activities that shift their focus away from pain, such as socializing or reading a book. Not only can such activities provide a temporary escape from pain, but they may also help seniors stay active both mentally and physically, improving their overall quality of life despite chronic pain. Remember to consult with a doctor for professional advice and guidance on pain management solutions. They can provide the first line of defence and help you and your loved one achieve a better quality of life.

If you have any senior care questions or concerns about your loved one being in pain and how they can manage it, Royalty Care can help. Call us today at (705)-725-1600 for a consultation.