Back Pain: Caring for Someone Suffering with Chronic Pain
In-Home Caregiving: Caring for a Loved One with Back Pain
Back pain is one of the most common ailments in our country. Millions of people are living with a variety of back pain conditions. Of course, just as many people are in the position of caring for a loved one with back pain. Their lives are affected as well. As people with back pain work to relieve their pain and progress through treatment, they certainly benefit from a helping hand. If you are a caregiver for someone suffering from back pain, your help is invaluable. Below are some suggestions for how to help your loved one recover AND how to maintain a good quality of life for both of you:
Staying in the Home
Most of us prefer to stay in the comfort of our own homes, especially when recovering from illness or injury, or dealing with pain and discomfort. The psychological benefits of a familiar and safe environment are a crucial part of the healing process. Often making only a few design or structural changes around the house can maximize the patient's recovery and ease the caregiver's peace of mind.
Kevin O'Connor of Miracle Contracting in Fort Wayne tells us: "A large part of our business is our home modifications for seniors and others living with mobility issues. People want to stay in their own homes for as long as possible and often with only very minor modifications, we are able to make this a reality. Installing grab bars in the shower or by the toilet will allow people to easily move around the bathroom. Another easy home modification would be to convert a first floor room to a bedroom. This allows the patient to stay in their home without having to navigate stairs."
It is not necessary to eliminate all activity for the patient. Movement and appropriate exercise are good for recovery. But eliminating or reducing things that cause back strain can go a long way to improve your loved one's state of mind.
- Rearranging frequently used items. Inventory what your loved one uses frequently (e.g. daily dishes, the coffee maker, toiletries, TV remotes) and make sure they are stored at a height that does not require bending or stretching. Adjust shelves in the cabinets if needed.
- Check that his or her favorite furniture is 'back friendly'. Add pillows or back supports or consider the purchase of a more ergonomic piece of furniture, such as a recliner.
- Re-allocate chores so that your loved one still feels useful but is not doing tasks that cause back pain. For example, trade loading and unloading the dishwasher with wiping the stove and countertops clean.
- Hire someone for manual labor like moving furniture or cleaning out the garage.
- Minimize the amount of driving for the person with back pain. Investigate online shopping options. Consolidate errand running into as few trips as possible. Arrange rides with friends for regular things like grocery or drugstore visits.
Showing that you understand and want to help can make you both feel better about the situation. Some suggested ways to show emotional support:
- Join in -- whether it is a recommend exercise program, a commitment to eating a healthier diet, or trying out stress reducing activities like meditation.
- Help organize regular interaction with your social network. Socializing can help take your loved one's mind off the pain and be a reminder of how much he or she means to other people.
- Attend treatments together. Help prepare questions in advance and take notes.
Take time to recharge
Caring for someone who suffers with chronic back pain is no easy task. Many times the caregivers puts their needs aside to help their loved one. However, the added stress, both mentally and physically, can take a toll on a caregiver and can affect your own health. Make time to help yourself too. Don't feel like you need to take on this task on your own. Create a support group and ask a friend or family member to help out for an hour or two once or twice a week while you take some time for yourself. Grab a movie or dinner with a friend, take a stroll around the block, catch up on some reading or a favorite activity. Taking the time to refresh will allow you to better care for your loved one.
Making a variety of adjustments to daily life can serve both you and your loved one well in the recovery process. If you or somene you know is suffering with back pain, contact Fort Wayne Chiropractor, Busch Chiropractic, today at (260) 471-4090 to find out about our non-surgical back pain treatment. A back pain care plan is important to improve the quality of life for our patients and their families.
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