It isn’t as easy as you might expect to know for certain when your elderly family member is in pain, especially when she’s near the end of her life. When you do know that she’s experiencing pain you can help her to alleviate it. The key is to learn your senior’s specific triggers.
Whether your elderly family member is still able to talk or not, she may make vocalizations when she’s in pain. If she’s not able to use words, she might be moaning or making other noises that let you know something is going on. Even grunts or sounds that wouldn’t normally be associated with pain could be an indication.
Watch your senior’s facial expressions. She might make actual grimaces or pained expressions, but the signs can also be more subtle. Even just a furrowed brow or expression that otherwise seems to be a bit twisted or unlike one she normally wears could be an indication of pain.
You might notice that your senior starts to have trouble concentrating more at some times than at others. That can be an indication that she’s battling pain, even if she doesn’t mention it. Pain can be distracting and might keep her from following conversations as well as she has been.
She might also start to experience changes in her breathing. She might breathe more shallowly or more rapidly. This can lead to hyperventilation in some situations and it’s a sign of pain that she may not notice as readily. Her body can start to breathe faster on its own, slowing down only as the pain eases up a bit.
Protecting a Part of Her Body.
You might also see your elderly family member cradling or otherwise seeming to protect certain parts of her body. This is most common when the pain is centered in a specific area. If she’s still able to walk, she might do so carefully, shielding areas of her body that tend to feel the most pain.
Hospice care providers can help you learn to quickly recognize pain signs in your family member. They can also give you more options than you might have expected to help both you and her to feel more comfortable with what is happening. Depending on your elderly family member’s goals at the end of her life, she may only want certain types of treatments. Hospice care can help you to mesh your senior’s goals with the possible options.
If you or your aging loved one could benefit from Hospice Care in Santee, SC, contact the caring staff at Grove Park Hospice, (803) 536-6644