As your senior nears the end of her journey, pain may be more of a constant companion. Determining how much pain she’s experiencing can help you to develop a plan for managing it.
Learn to Recognize When Your Senior Is in Pain
Whether your senior is still able to verbalize how she’s feeling or not, it’s vital that you learn how to recognize signs of pain. Some of the most obvious signs might be vocalizations beyond words and restless movements. Both of these can be indications that there’s something else going on that you need to be aware of with your senior. A much more subtle indication of pain could be your elderly family member’s facial expressions or how she’s breathing. If she’s able to respond to you, ask if she’s feeling pain.
Sort out a Way to Measure the Pain
After you recognize that your senior is indeed experiencing pain, the next step is to try to quantify it. That’s easier said than done at times, but you have some tools you can use. There are a variety of different pain scales you can use, ranging from asking your senior to rank pain on a scale of one to ten to choosing pictures of faces that represent how she’s feeling. The exact way you gauge the pain isn’t what’s important. What is important is that you are able to understand and express to someone else what your senior is feeling.
Make Sure to Document What’s Happening
The best way to determine how things are going for your senior in terms of pain management is to track details. You’re going to want to do this in some sort of pain log, which sounds more complicated than it is. Really all you need is a place to make note of the date, the time, and the level of pain your senior is in. You might want to include other information if you have it, like how long she experiences the pain and whether there’s anything that helps alleviate the pain.
Share the Information You’re Collecting
Once you’ve got information collected, it’s easier to share that with the people who need it. Your family member’s doctors and other people helping, like end-of-life care providers, can all use this information to help make sure she’s as comfortable as possible. The more information you can gather, the better the plan you can put in place for your senior.
Managing your senior’s pain doesn’t have to involve a lot of guesswork. Using a system can help you to feel as if you’ve got accurate data to use.