Chronic Pain and Aging: Why Current Practices Just Won’t Cut It posted on: 06-18-2018

Boston home care

Seniors need a different approach to managing chronic pain.

As the large population of baby boomers continues to get older, and as our life span continues to be extended, our thinking pertaining to coping with chronic pain has to expand accordingly. At present, over 50% of those over age 65 complain of persistent pain – and for ¾ of those dealing with chronic pain, the pain displays in a number of locations – and is adversely affecting their physical function and quality of life.

To manage this pain, often, physicians rely on prescribed opiates. These opiates may lead to contraindications with other medications and substances such as alcohol, in addition to serious addiction concerns; and to top it all off, opiates are not proven to be effective long-term for chronic pain. In reality, they may intensify such conditions.

It’s crucial for you to think about the full spectrum of senior requirements when trying to manage chronic pain: physical, psychological, and social.

Physical: Communication between all medical providers is key to make certain all medications prescribed are safe when taken with each other, and that treatment is tailored to manage the particular needs of seniors, considering slowed metabolism, increased likelihood to utilize or abuse alcohol, physical inactivity, and more. Many older adults also find that it’s advantageous to be involved in activities that shift the focus away from physical pain, including yoga, meditation and mindfulness.

Psychological: The incidence of depression, dementia and anxiety is increased in the elderly. Exploring non-medicated care options such as exercise, cognitive, behavioral, problem-solving, and interpersonal therapy is a great idea.

Social: Isolation is a factor for a number of seniors, as a result of loss of close friends and family, inability to operate a vehicle, illness, frailty, retirement, and more. Treating the requirement for enhanced socialization is an important part of an older adult’s overall well-being and health.

Fortunately, a professional in-home caregiver, such as those at North River Home Care in Boston, will help seniors physically, emotionally, and socially through a full variety of customized care plans, including:

  • Medication reminders
  • Picking up prescriptions
  • Planning and preparing nutritious meals
  • Providing transportation and accompaniment to doctor appointments along with fun outings, exercise classes, and more
  • Serving as a friendly companion to take part in favorite pastimes and alleviate loneliness and isolation
  • And much more, based upon each individual’s unique needs

Call North River Home Care now at (781) 352-0939 to request resources pertaining to your senior loved one’s individual challenges, to learn more about our Boston in-home care solutions, or to set up a no-cost in-home assessment.