Chronic pain is a condition that many older adults suffer with daily. Persistent pain can be caused by a multitude of illnesses and conditions, with one of the largest contributors being arthritis. According to the CDC, there are currently 54.4 million Americans living with some form of arthritis.
Arthritis is actually a term used for any number of inflammatory joint diseases. The most prevalent of these is osteoarthritis, which is often the result of joint cartilage being worn away. Left untreated, chronic arthritis pain can lead people to adopt a sedentary lifestyle, increasing their risk of developing cardiovascular disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, colon cancer, and other serious health conditions.
Home health and hospice routinely treat patients with arthritis and other chronic pain contributing conditions. They use various pain management techniques to provide as much relief as possible for each patient based on their specific needs. Under the supervision of physicians, physical therapists work with patients to increase muscle strength and flexibility, and to reduce pain.
Chronic pain can also cause psychological issues like depression and anxiety. Home care social workers provide counseling to patients and their families on how to better cope with their condition. The frequency of home care visits can be an added benefit for lonely elderly patients whose isolation can also contribute to depression. Negative emotions can worsen pain, and people who dwell on their pain can actually experience greater disability from it.
Common Types of Arthritis:
Osteoarthritis: joint insulation deterioration.
Rheumatoid Arthritis: autoimmune disease-causing immune system to attack the body.
Fibromyalgia: amplified sensations affecting the way the brain processes pain.
Gout: localized condition caused by high levels of uric acid, usually affecting the large joint of the big toe.
Highlight your agency’s services that provide relief from chronic pain:
Offer to provide a weekly mini class at your local senior centers. Promote your pain management services and other topics relevant to senior care like fall prevention, occupational therapy, nutrition, and brain sharpening exercises.
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