Caring for a parent in pain is a trial for which no one is fully prepared. It hurts to see someone suffer—especially someone you love suffering from a condition that never ends. You may feel hopeless to make a difference in your parent’s level of discomfort, but educating yourself about the options will lessen that feeling of helplessness.
There are numerous ways to cope with pain, all with varying degrees of success. Your parent’s health providers should initiate a course of action, but don’t hesitate to aggressively advocate on your parent’s behalf if you feel other options should be explored.
Informative articles such as “Five Steps to Pain Relief” and "Alternative and Natural Therapies" are available in our Arthritis Today magazine, along with many other articles on the subject of pain. For a directory of possibilities, search the word “pain” on the Arthritis Today website.
The American Chronic Pain Association (ACPA) also offers a selection of literature on the topic of pain, including a family manual specifically addressing the challenges that often result when someone you love is enduring chronic pain.
In addition to learning all you can about pain management and acting as an advocate for your parent, help him/her to keep an ongoing pain log. This will prove a valuable tool in gauging your parent’s progress and assessing the success of his/her treatment. And by all means, share the information with your parent’s health provider.
More information about pain management can be found on the ACPA website.