New Family Caregivers

How To Masterfully Care For Back Problems Better

Back Problems

Caring for the elderly with back problems

Back problems are one of the most common conditions of old age. It is one of the major reasons for pain and disability in our senior loved ones, which ruins their quality of life. If left untreated, it can make matters worse for our seniors. Dealing with this day out and being careful not to irritate the condition any further can cause strain on you, as the caregiver. Here are some great books to help you now.

Understanding back problems

The chances of suffering from back problems, increases as one age. Though the problem can occur to anyone at any age, older adults are at the highest risk. A backache at an older age can indicate various underlying health conditions. As we age, there are multiple factors that give rise to low back pain. These include:
  • Physical inactivity
  • Spinal degeneration
  • Lumbar spinal stenosis
  • Dementia
  • Spinal infection
  • Tumors in the spin
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Osteoporotic vertebral fractures
Furthermore, postmenopausal women are at a high risk of suffering from back problems. After the age of 35, there is a depletion of calcium stored. As a result, women are more prone to suffer from osteoporosis.

Take special precaution with medication

As our loved ones get older, their organs become slower and smaller. We have to be mindful of their kidneys that shrink with time and the filtration becomes less effective. Furthermore, their liver’s blood flow is decreased and with increased age, it takes the liver longer to break down some medications. To avoid these challenges, start any medication with the lowest dosage possible. Consult your physician before starting any medication.

Signs indicating a chronic backache

Seniors suffering from back problems, usually complain of stiffness along with low backache. Which is severe during the morning hours. Sleeping becomes difficult and gradually it interferes with our senior’s ability to carry out their daily activities. The following is a list of some of the common symptoms of a backache:
  • A backache that is either constant or intermittent and gets aggravated by extended activity
  • Seniors get up with a backache in the morning and also experience it towards the end of the day
  • Disruptive sleeping due to this problem
  • The affected area of the spine is tender to touch
  • There is leg pain, which aggravates upon standing for long hours
  • Depending on the cause of a backache, pain sometimes radiates from the low back region to the legs
  • Weakness, numbness, and tingling that radiates from the low back into the buttocks and leg

 

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Tips to help our seniors deal with back problems

Back problems can become an additional burden for our aging parents. With age, multiple health conditions develop. And an added burden of back problems makes life extremely difficult.
There is no 100% cure for back problems; which means we cannot make our seniors have a pain–free life. However, this does not mean that our senior loved ones would have to continue to suffer from pain and live an incapacitating life. There are various ways to ease pain and make life comfortable for your seniors. Here are certain tips for you to follow:
  • Learn about the condition

Knowledge is the key to solving and reliving many back problems. Chronic back pain always has an underlying cause. By learning how to manage it, you can assist in taking care of the elderly suffering from the back problem.
  • Make changes in the house

When you have a senior at home suffering from back problems, you will need to make certain changes in the house to make it fall-proof. This is because there are chances that they may trip and fall and suffer a fracture. Therefore, it becomes necessary that you make the following changes:
  1. Purchase assisted devices such as handheld grabbers. This will prevent sudden disbalance and a consequent fall.
  2. Place anti-slip mats in the bathroom, so that your elderly do not slip and fall.
  3. Install grab bars in the bathroom, so that your elderly can have something to hold on to.
  4. Replace old mattresses with new ones. So, your elderly can sleep comfortably on their bed.
  5. Give them comfort cushions when they are sitting.
  • Exercise

However cruel this may sound, it is necessary and will make them feel better. Movement and exercise are extremely beneficial for a senior with back problems. Our seniors may simply dislike the idea of moving their bodies when they are experiencing pain. But, as a responsible caregiver, you need to motivate them and help them perform some simple exercises every day. Movement keeps the blood flowing to the muscles, which helps in easing out the pain. And therefore, it becomes essential that you encourage your loved ones to move every day. You need to be careful, and let your seniors relax and take a rest when they are in extreme pain.
  • Natural methods

While drugs may seem to relieve pain and provide relief. The long-term use of drugs is certainly not advisable. Therefore, you can take your seniors to a chiropractor. They can use natural therapies and methods to treat the problem.
  • Other pain-relieving methods

You can even consider applying ice packs or heat pads where they are experiencing pain.
  • Manual touch
A physical therapist or other healthcare provider can attempt to make physical adjustments to the spine with the goals of improving mobility and reducing stiffness, discomfort, or pain.
  • Massage
A gentle massage to the low back can relieve the muscle ache that commonly leads to low back pain. Massage also increases blood flow to the low back, which speeds up healing by bringing nutrients and oxygen to damaged muscles.
  • Back brace

Your loved one can find massive relief with a back brace. It can be used to provide comfort and reduce pain.

Symptoms to never ignore!

  • Weakness in the arms or legs

This can be a sign of a stroke, especially if the weakness is on one side of the body. Some of the symptoms of a stroke are off-balance, feeling dizzy, or having trouble walking. Get help fast or call 911!

  • Tenderness or pain in the back of your lower leg

Pain in the back of the leg can be a symptom of a blood clot. It can happen after you have been sitting for a very long time. The pain will be felt the most when standing on your feet. You also may experience redness, and swelling in the leg.

  • Blood in the urine

If you see blood in your urine and have pain in your back, you may have a kidney stone. A kidney stone is a small crystal made of minerals that form in your kidney. It will move through the tube that carries your urine. Also, if you have an increased feeling of having to use the bathroom, have a burning sensation. You may also have a bladder infection.

 

 

Conclusion

Back pain is no fun and can be controlled. Consider taking your elderly loved ones to the doctor, so that you are well aware of the severity of the pain they are suffering from. Furthermore, you can also ask additional questions concerning the health of your elderly. All these efforts will go a long way in helping your elderly manage their back problem. For more information, check out this site. Also, for more information on senior care, check out this link as well.

It can be difficult to attend to your loved one with back problems, but it’s not impossible. With the right knowledge, you can do this. Don’t forget about taking care of yourself and keeping your business going while you are caregiving. I’m here to assist you on this journey, schedule your planning session with me so we can look at how to keep your life and your business running smoothly. Finally, check out this post on body mechanics.

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