The holistic approach is important as it focuses on relieving pain and inflammation without harming the body. It also promotes the bodies healing response so that the area of injury is healed as quickly and completely as possible.
One approach to alleviate and minimise pain and discomfort is to show the individual that you are concerned about them and their well being. Let the individual know you are here to help themand want what is best for them. Another approach would be to let the individual know that other people have had the same problem and its nothing to be ashamed or frightened of, some older people may feel they are being a burden and not want to bother anyone, it is important for them to know this isnt the case. Be sincere, smile hold the individuals hand if they are scared.
Below is an outline of the agreed ways of working to alleviate pain and minimise discomfort. Pain awareness, you should be alert to the possibility of pain and discomfort in older people and that older people are often reluctant to report the pain as they dont want to be a burden to anyone or may be afraid to tell anyone. Pain enquiry, it is impotant to enquire about pain it is helpful if you use alternative words like where are you sore? Have you got an ache anywhere? Are you hurting? Pain description, where pain is present it is important for a clinical assessment to take place. The sensory dimension, the nature (eg sharp, dull, burning), location and intensity of the pain. The affective dimension, the emotional part (eg fear,depression,anxiety) and response to pain. The impact, how is this effecting the individual participation in everyday activities. Pain location, an attempt should be made to locate the pain ask the individual to point out where the pain is.
Pain intensity, pain assessment should be made using a numeric scale from 1 to 10 where 10 is the worst pain and 1 being the lowest level of pain, if the individual is able to use this. Communication, every effort should be made to communicate with individuals with sensory impairments eg glasses, hearing aids etc. Assessment in individuals with impaired cognitive communications (eg dementia suffers) it might be needed for a regular carer and family members to help assess the pain as they will know what is a normal behavior of the individual and one which could suggest the individual is in pain. Cause of pain, a careful physical examination should take place to identify any treatable causes, however it is important to ba aware that pain can exist even if the examination is normal. Re-evaluate, it is important that the treatment is evaluated to make sure it has worked.
Severe pain could have the ability to totally transform a person. It could affect the way a person eats and drinks, even putting them off their food completely. pain can cause frustration or unreasonable behaviour in someone who is normally calm and controlled. The individual could becone restless or suffer from sleepless nights all this could be signs of pain and could be used to help diagnois individuals who cant communicate they are in pain. Pain can cause many problems to an individuals well being and communication, pain and discomfort can make day to day life difficult causing limitations to a persons daily activities, this leads to a lower quality of life. Chronic pain causes a host of related problems a main problem can be depression the individual feels helpless and doesnt see a way out. It is important that pain is properly managed so the individual can get their quality of life back and help an individual get back their independance. It is important for none verbal people to have a way of communication so that they can express their pain, providing the apprropriate pain management assures the dignity and well being of a patient.
You could encourage an individual to express pain and discomfort in a number of ways the best ways are to make sure the individual feels safe and at ease with you, smile sincerely, ask the individual an open ended question, be supportive make sure the individual knows they are not alone, let them take their time to open up to you.
There are a number of self-help methods of pain control it is important to make the individual aware of so they can use them. Some are more successful then others. The individual could be encouraged to do some gentle exercise or have some physiotherapy where possible. There is a distraction approach where individuals are incouraged to do something they enjoy such as reading, drawing, watching television or maybe listening to music to take there mind off their pain. Sometimes a lie down or rest can help relieve pain maybe the individual could be incourage to take a rest when the pain is really bad. It can sometimes help if the individual has a bath or shower the warmness of the water can ease pain in some cases.
Assist an individual to be positioned safely and comfortably, this may be different for different individuals it is important to consult the individuals care plan. Once an individual is moved according to their care plan and in compliance with safe moving and handling guidelines you may need to make them more comfortable using aids. The individual may need more cushions to make them more comfortable, they may need their feet elevating, the person may need to be seating in a recliner for comfort.
Measurements to minimise the individuals pain and discomfortmay include repostioning, adjustments to bedding, heating, lightening or noise, the use of specialist mattresses and pressure reducing aids, Also analgesias Pain killers) maybe requested for the individual all measures in the care plan must be followed. The ways pain and discomfort may be managed include massage, yoga, meditation and medication. 3.1
Carry out all monitoring according to the individuals care plan. The individual maybe on 15 min, 30 min, or hourly checks these need to be carried out. If the individual can communicate it is important for you to ask them about any pain, has the individuals mood or behaviour changed are the signs of pain and discomfort there.
Records should be completed in a required way as explained in the individuals care plan. All pain killers administered should be documented on the MARS sheet.
All findings and concerns should be reported correctly to the person in charge and documented in the care plan.
Courtney from Study Moose