Your senior might have been prepared to deal with pain near the end of his life, but that doesn’t mean that he has to just fight through it. If you can learn to recognize the indications that your senior is in pain, especially when he can’t talk to you, then you might be better able to help him to keep his pain levels under control.
Changes in Her Breathing
Pain affects every part of your senior’s body, including his breathing. You might notice that your elderly family member’s breathing changes as his pain levels increase. He may start to have shallow, short breaths or you might notice that he’s breathing as if he’s exerted himself a great deal. This is something that is typically not a conscious change, but it’s one that can be very noticeable.
Changes to His Body Language
Your senior’s breathing isn’t the only thing that changes. You might also start to notice that your senior’s expression changes or that his body may tense up when he’s in pain. This can happen when your senior is awake or asleep. Start paying closer attention to the expressions your senior is making. Even if he’s non-verbal, these cues can let you know that he’s in increasing amounts of pain.
You’re Hearing Vocalizations
Vocalizations are another way that you can tell your senior might be in pain. These might be screams, groans, or moans that your aging family member makes. Again, if he’s non-verbal, these sounds may be the only other indication that you have that your senior is experiencing pain. Try to determine whether there is anything else that you can do for him to alleviate what he’s feeling.
Restless Movements Often Accompany Pain
Your senior might also be making restless movements. If he’s able to walk, he might start to pace, which could be dangerous for him if he’s weakened by pain. Watching for these restless movements can help to prompt you to ask about your senior’s pain levels and try to alleviate his pain, if possible. If your aging family member can’t get comfortable at all, he may be experiencing severe pain.
It’s always preferable to try to get your senior to communicate with you about his pain, but that might not be possible. Hospice care providers can help you to solve some of the mysteries you encounter when your senior is in pain and how to manage it.