There’s a common misconception that pain is a part of growing older, and that a person just needs to get used to it. This misconception couldn’t be further from the truth. Yes, pain is a part of life, but it’s not normal. Actually, the truth is the opposite. Pain is a warning system that lets the sufferer know that something is not right within his or her body. The body is expecting you to do something about the pain.
Expressing Pain Can Be Difficult for the Elderly
Due to various factors, such as dementia or stroke, some elderly patients may not be able to verbally express that he or she is in pain. In these cases, the individuals that provide care for the elderly should be attentive and actively look for the effects of pain. Just as the elderly may not be able to express that they are in pain, they may not be able to express their wishes regarding pain management. It’s important that elderly care providers speak with the family of the patient to gain an understanding of the patient’s wishes.
Pain medication and the Elderly
Elderly patients may react differently to pain medications than younger patients would. As the body ages, changes occur internally that change the body’s acceptance of certain medications. To compensate for these unseen changes, doctors usually prescribe a lower dose for elderly patients, at first. Once the doctor has determined that the medication is safe for the patient, he or she may increase the dosage.
What Else Can Be a Part of Elderly Pain Management?
Because of the psychological effects of chronic pain, a pain management plan for an elderly patient should include attention and care. Even if the resident isn’t able to communicate, have conversations with him or. Show them that you care. In addition to this, provide the patient a pleasant environment. Environmental factors can exacerbate the negative feelings that a patient could be feeling due to pain. Provide the patient with activities that give the patient something to focus on, such as music or crafts. Most of all, don’t forget the power of human contact. A touch can go a long way toward easing the suffering of another person.
They Don’t “Have to Live With It”
While pain is a reality of human existence, pain does not have to control a person’s life. A person’s age does not determine the quality of life that he or she deserves. Pain management is a needed practice for the elderly, just as it is with any other person. It’s simply that pain management techniques need to be carefully considered for an elderly patient.
Pain management should be a vital component to the quality of life equation for an elderly patient. After spending a lifetime dealing with pain, the elderly patient deserves the right to be relieved of the pain that they are currently experiencing. Providing proper pain management for the elderly is a choice that respects the value of all human li