Science has long looked for an explanation for the link between pain and depression. It’s common for people of all ages, whether dealing with chronic pain or chronic depression to feel the other as well. It’s particularly distressing when we see the cycle play out with elderly loved ones, though, because we want to spare them any suffering. Finding home care solutions for the problem can help to greatly improve your elderly loved one’s quality of life.
A Vicious Cycle
It’s not uncommon to find that elderly loved ones have an increase in pain that leads to a bout of depression, or vice versa. In truth, pain and depression are a vicious cycle that just keeps on rolling. The National Institute of Mental Health advises that people who are prone to depression tend to have a higher level of cytokines in their system. Cytokines are a protein that your body uses to regulate the immune system’s response to infections and illnesses. The cytokines are responsible for the strength of the body’s response too, which includes the extent of pain that is felt. The greater the amount of pain, the more likely someone is to feel depressed, especially if the pain becomes chronic.
Get Help for Your Loved One
If your elderly loved one is in this vicious cycle, there are several ways you can get help for her. Doctors can prescribe medications to treat the underlying causes for both pain and depression, which may help to alleviate the majority of the problem. Help from senior care providers can also be beneficial, particularly when it comes to being able to get out and about and be mobile again. Elder care providers can also help with exercise and with making sure that your loved one is eating nutritious meals regularly when you can’t be there yourself.
Mix Up the Treatments
WebMD recommends using a variety of different treatments to help battle depression. Use several methods that can work together, such as medication as well as physical activity. Art therapy can be beneficial in conjunction with other treatments. Above all, try to find the treatments that both work best for your elderly loved one and that she enjoys the most. If afternoon nature walks are something that work well to lift her spirits, then that’s a treatment option to stick with. Spending time with friends and loved ones can also help to break the cycle of pain and depression if all physical causes are under control. With the freedom that in-home care can help to provide, visiting with their friends can be much easier for elderly loved ones.
Use home care services to help you find solutions for an elderly loved one’s battle with depression and pain. Creative answers to the riddle that is the cycle of pain and depression can help to alleviate both.
For more information about how the caregivers at La Jolla Nurses Homecare can help your aging parents remain in their own homes, call 858-454-9339. We are a home care agency providing quality and affordable home care in La Jolla, CA, and the surrounding communities.