Chronic pain affects 50% of older adults. For some, the pain isn’t in just one area. Seven out of ten older adults report experiencing pain in multiple areas of their body. Chronic pain can be severely limiting and lead to mobility issues that make it hard for your mom to perform daily activities like showering, getting out of bed, or cleaning her home. To manage chronic pain, your mom’s doctor recommends a variety of therapies and treatments. Some of them are not things you can help with. Have you discussed having skilled nurses through home health care services to help your mom with pain management?
What can home health care providers do?
Your mom’s doctor may prescribe pain medications, anticonvulsants, or antidepressants to help ease chronic pain. Some medications can have serious side effects or cause dizziness and fainting if she takes them. Prescription opioids can be addictive and need to be carefully monitored.
A skilled nurse can administer medications as directed, monitor your mom’s health for serious issues like blood pressure changes or allergic reactions, and report to the doctor if there are concerns. If medications need to be changed, the nurse can take care of it with the doctor’s approval and keep you from having to bring your mom back to the hospital or doctor’s office.
Sometimes, injections of steroid medications can help with chronic pain. While your mom’s doctor will have her use over-the-counter NSAID medications, injections are also beneficial when nothing else helps.
Ask if it’s possible to have a skilled nurse inject medications to avoid having to get your mom to a medical office. Home health care covers injectable medications, so it can be a great option when it’s hard for your mom to leave the home.
Skilled nurses also help your mom work on exercises recommended by a physical therapist. The nurse can make sure your mom performs the exercise correctly and report any issues to your mom’s medical team.
Health Monitoring by Home Health Care Aides
Your mom is taking medications that can lead to other complications. If she’s on medication that can harm the liver or kidneys with extended use, skilled nursing care covers blood draws to make sure her organs are functioning properly. If a lab finds there are concerning indicators, the doctor can change paths and come up with different ways to manage the pain. Nurses can take vital signs and weight, report to the doctor, and work on the best path forward.
Finally, a skilled nurse can help your family learn the foods your mom should be avoiding. If she has diabetes and her chronic pain is linked to her health condition, a skilled nurse can teach your mom what she should eat, what she needs to avoid, and how to properly portion her meals.
Call ou home health care agency to learn more about having skilled nurses available to help with chronic pain.