The reality is that chronic pain is common among older adults. Left untreated, it can significantly reduce their quality of life. Chronic pain may lead to reduced mobility, sleeping challenges, social isolation, anxiety, depression, an increased risk of falls and accidents, and other serious implications. Fortunately, there are a variety of ways seniors can manage chronic pain and enjoy life despite it. Here are five tips on how to do just that.
1. Get Up and Moving
Contrary to popular belief, an inactive lifestyle can worsen, rather than improve chronic pain. Therefore, seniors should get into the habit of exercising on a regular basis. While they may not be able to or want to run a mile every day, they should consider low-impact options that ease joint pain and muscle stiffness. Some of the best workouts for older adults with chronic pain include swimming, yoga, and cycling.
2. Eat Healthy
A nutritious, well-balanced diet is important for seniors with chronic pain. Processed foods as well as sweets and trans-fat may exacerbate it, making fruits, veggies, whole grains, and lean proteins ideal. By eating healthy, older adults can also achieve and maintain a healthy weight, which can do wonders for their chronic pain.
3. Keep Stress Levels Down
Stress can increase chronic pain levels. For this reason, senior citizens should learn how to relax and keep stress levels to a minimum. Soaking in a warm bath, meditating, listening to music, and spending time outdoors are all easy and effective stress management techniques. Deep breathing exercises are also key for quick relief from stress.
4. Try Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy or CBT is a psychotherapy treatment that can help seniors with chronic pain. It helps them recognize negative or unuseful thoughts and behaviors. CBT often involves techniques such as self-talk, guided discovery and journaling, reward activities, and SMART goals.
5. Take Medications as Prescribed
As long as they’re prescribed by a doctor, medications can effectively treat chronic pain symptoms. These may include anti-inflammatory drugs that treat muscular issues that lead to pain or aspirin that can help with the effects. Older adults need to take their medications correctly to reap their full benefits and prevent complications.
Contact Bailah Home Care Today
If you have further questions on how to improve senior home safety or are interested in our home care services in Bethesda, Chevy Chase, Potomac and nearby areas in Maryland, don’t hesitate to contact us today. We look forward to hearing from you!