There are lots of reasons that a person might be suffering from chronic and ongoing pain. This will be difficult for family members, loved ones, and professional carers to manage, but some important steps can alleviate suffering. Pain doesn’t have to deprive a person of their life, so here are some tips for carers.
#1 Consider options
First and foremost, too many pain sufferers become trapped in a cycle of painkillers that don’t change and doesn’t really address the underlying cause of the pain. While painkillers will obviously play a large part in the sufferer’s life, there are plenty of other treatment options available. Consult with doctors to find out what’s possible but don’t be afraid to suggest treatments outside “traditional” medicine. Massage therapy, aromatherapy, and treatments like acupuncture can all be beneficial.
#2 Encourage healthy living
When someone is suffering from pain it’s easy for them to fall into an unhealthy lifestyle. Sleeping late, not exercising enough, and lapsing into a bad diet will only make the condition worse, though. Exercise is especially important (although tricky in some cases). Something as simple as going for a walk through the park works wonders both mentally and physically. Keeping the body in good physical condition is obviously beneficial. Diet is important too. Plan healthy meals and try to schedule times when you can cook and shop together.
#3 Create the right environment
Pain gives rise to several important practical considerations. The storage of pain relievers within easy reach, specialized beds, furniture, and wheelchairs are all important. Try to create an environment that is both comfortable and practical, somewhere that the sufferer feels at home in but is also safe. Medical supplies put a strain on budgets, but carers (both professional and otherwise) can use a medical marketplace like medical-supermarket.com to compare prices. This allows them to source the best supplies from different companies, ensuring that they get everything they need within budget.
#4 Be goal orientated
Goal setting is useful for anybody with a chronic condition because it provides a tangible, day-by-day plan with a positive long-term outcome. Find out what the person wants from life both in the long and short term, and then make plans with them to achieve those goals. The very act of making plans is therapeutic. Pain sometimes makes a person feel as though they’ve lost all control over their life, but setting goals helps them to reassert themselves.
#5 But always listen
No matter how much you want a person to live their life to the fullest, it isn’t always immediately possible. Pain is both mentally and physically debilitating, so there will be days when the person simply isn’t capable of following through on previously made plans. Gentle encouragement is fine, but it’s important to respect a person’s boundaries. They do, after all, know their own body. Pushing too hard can make the pain worse, meaning that the person becomes more reluctant to take part in future activities.