Hospice and palliative care professionals—experts in helping patients and families cope with pain—know from experience that pain can take away peace of mind, comfort, enjoyment, and most of all hope.
September is National Pain Awareness Month and helping people learn the truth about pain and what can be done to manage pain is the focus of the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization’s campaign, LIVE Without Pain.
“When someone is in pain, it can be impossible to think about anything else,” said J. Donald Schumacher, NHPCO president and CEO. “Pain can make it difficult for you to work, sleep, maintain relationships with friends and loved ones and participate in simple activities.”
Physical pain is only one aspect of suffering. Emotional and psychological suffering is also an important factor that must be considered.
“Good pain management improves quality of life and in most cases it is possible to manage pain and that’s why we want to increase public awareness about the issue,” explained Schumacher.
Some advice from professionals who help patients and family caregivers deal with pain:
· In order for the doctor or other healthcare provider to determine the best way to control pain, they rely on what patients and family caregivers tell them, so communication is important.
· Pain in older adults, just like pain in any other age group, is the body’s way of saying that something needs attention. Pain is a signal that it is time to talk with a doctor or other caregiver and seek help.
· Pain associated with a life-limiting illness or at the end of life requires special attention and can best be treated by a palliative care or hospice provider.
LIVE—Without Pain resources are available free-of-charge from NHPCO’s Caring Connections at www.CaringInfo.org/pain. You can learn about different kinds of pain, caring for someone in pain, talking with your physician, managing medications and more.