Elderly Pain Management
Are they in pain, and what should I know about pain management guidelines for the elderly caregiving
Before we go into a more in-depth discussion on caregiver pain management guidelines for the elderly and on handling pain, we need to address the concept of ‘black box warnings.’ Many of the pain medications that are narcotics have black box warnings. This is the strictest warning put on the labeling of prescription drugs or drug products by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) when there is reasonable evidence of an association of a serious complication with the drug.
If you have concerns regarding your prescription, please discuss it with your physician.
Pain can be an inevitable part of the body decline. It is one thing I am often questioned about by caregivers. Family members ask me, “How can they be in pain when they are in bed most of the time?”
The fact is that pain comes from many sources. There is not nearly as much movement in their joints as there used to be because they are not walking or moving. This restricted mobility causes the muscles to weaken and they begin to atrophy or shorten, along with creating stiffness.
This may be one reason for increased pain. Your loved one may have osteoporosis of the bone or arthritis, causing increased aches and pains. It can be worse when the weather is damp, or the barometric pressure drops, and especially when there is cold weather with snow or rain.
Nonverbal signs of pain include frowning, grimacing, moaning, groaning, whimpering, and/or crying. Many experience restlessness and/or agitation along with the pain. They can appear uneasy and tense, perhaps drawing their legs up, or kicking along with sighing, calling out, asking for help, or swearing. That is why my information on pain management guidelines for elderly caregiving is so helpful for the elderly and for you.