Don’t let chronic pain keep you from enjoying life
If you’re living with chronic pain, you’re not alone. Chronic pain is a leading cause of disability in Australia. Around 3.6 million Australians live with chronic pain and this number continues to grow. Over the last ten years, the number of people visiting their GP with chronic pain has risen by 67 per cent.
And as we age, we’re at greater risk of experiencing chronic pain. In fact, Pain Australia reports that one in three adults over the age of 65 live with chronic pain.
At KinCare, we recognise that people who live with chronic pain shouldn’t be prevented from enjoying a high quality of life. Our goal is to help older Australians maintain their independence while living in their own homes. We understand that chronic pain can change lives in many ways, making it difficult to stay connected with loved ones, keep active and continue to be involved in much-loved activities.
Chronic pain is complex and experienced differently
The two primary characteristics of chronic pain, as defined in a 2020 report by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare report, is that chronic pain is:
- experienced on most days of the week
If you experience chronic pain, you’ll know how simple that definition is. Chronic pain is complex, comes in many forms and feels different to each of us. Chronic Pain Australia says that there are hundreds of types of chronic pain conditions. The common thread is the way in which chronic pain can profoundly affect a person’s happiness, relationships and life.
Start by having an honest conversation
Simply opening up and talking about your pain with your Customer Care Manager can make a huge difference. Rebecca, a Clinical Team Leader at KinCare, says that no one should accept that the pain they have will be a normal part of everyday life.
“Just having that honest conversation about your pain journey means that we can help you in whatever way is going to be beneficial. There are so many ways we can support people and it’s a big first step for us to know what your experience is.”
At KinCare, we aim to help you live at home for as long as you wish, which means working with you to develop supportive strategies that leave you feeling in control of your health and life.
Understand how chronic pain can impact your life
Chronic pain can affect a person’s ability to look after themselves independently. Some common impacts include:
- trouble sleeping
- difficulty with physical tasks such as household chores, lifting, and gardening
- moving easily and without pain
- an increased risk of falling
If you can clearly identify how pain keeps you from doing what you enjoy, it will help your Customer Care Manager understand your unique needs. In preparation for a visit with your Customer Care Manager, ask yourself the following questions:
- What does a really good day look like?
- And what does the opposite kind of day look like?
- What workarounds do you use because of your pain?
KinCare also needs to know who else provides care for your pain. Rebecca explains, “It’s really useful for us to know who else is involved in your care, whether that be a GP or a pain team, so that we can have a collaborative approach to your needs.”
Holistic care to keep you doing what you love
We recognise that people who live with chronic pain have lives to live, and that pain shouldn’t hold anyone back. Our diverse and holistic care aims to help you continue doing what you love. We can:
- provide transport to help you stay connected to your community, attend medical appointments, and do the shopping
- bring social support to you on days when the pain keeps you at home
- provide personalised nursing care, including a pain assessment and a conversation about your medications and medical needs
- arrange an OT assessment to identify supports and equipment to help you manage your daily activities
- improve upon workarounds you’ve put in place because of your pain
At KinCare, we make sure you’re provided with the safest option – and an option that’s best for your type of pain. For example, some people feel more comfortable when they can sit down while showering.
“A lot of people will put a plastic garden chair in the shower – but is there something we can do to make that a better experience for you? Can we support you with a proper shower chair that’s going to be safer and work better for your needs?” says Rebecca.
Our Higher Needs care pathway for extra support
A good place to start, when you’re seeking support to manage your chronic pain, is our Higher Needs care pathway. It’s designed to meet more complex, challenging health conditions, and includes:
- nursing services
- home safety assessments
- falls prevention strategies
- flexible respite care for your loved ones and family members
Daily help around the house
If your pain makes it difficult to complete your daily tasks, we can help. In-home care can be provided as often as you need, whether that’s daily, weekly or occasionally, and includes:
- help around the house, including laundry, house-cleaning and gardening
- personal care, including showering, grooming and dressing
- social support, keeping you connected with friends, family and activities
Move more easily and with less pain
Being able to get around with reduced pain will make daily activities easier and decrease your stress. The Australian Department of Health and Aged Care says that being active keeps us mentally and physically healthy. How you stay active will depend on your ability.
We can provide transport to your GP for a checkup if you haven’t been very active in the past, as it’s always important to speak with your doctor before starting anything new.
Talk to your Customer Care Manager about our range of services that can assist you to improve your mobility, including:
- health and wellbeing checks which aim to improve your overall nutrition
- physiotherapy support to rebuild or maintain your strength and balance
You’re not alone
Chronic pain can leave you feeling isolated and unheard, but with KinCare, you’re never alone. We’re here for you around the clock. If your chronic pain is preventing you from doing what you love, contact your Customer Care Manager today and take back control of your life.