The Bridgewater senior care experts know that headaches are among the most difficult ailments to alleviate in seniors. Not only can headaches be more painful in the elderly compared with younger adults, but medication restrictions can make treatment challenging. Common over-the-counter medications, such as acetaminophen and ibuprofen, may be off-limits to your loved one because of underlying health conditions. The good news is there are natural remedies you can try to alleviate your elderly loved one’s headaches and ease their pain.
1. Offer a massage. Rubbing the forehead and temples in small circles can help alleviate your elderly loved one’s headache by releasing pressure. If the headache is caused by another source of pain, such as the neck, consider massaging this area, too.
2. Draw a warm bath. This can be soothing for tension headaches, and the heat of the water also reduces swelling and pain. You can also try a warm washcloth and apply it to your loved one’s head for a short period.
3. Use an ice pack. Like heat, cold can also help alleviate headaches by reducing pain. The coldness of an ice pack works to dull headache pain for relief. Use a refillable ice pack to avoid a melting mess.
4. Lightly constrict the head. Tie a scarf around your loved one’s head just until he or she feels slight pressure. This method alleviates swelling in the head by redirecting blood flow. Unwrap after five minutes, or sooner if your loved one complains of too much pressure.
5. Try peppermint. Peppermint oil has been touted as a natural pain reliever for centuries. Fix your loved one a cup of peppermint tea, or apply wet tea bags directly to the forehead. Peppermint essential oil can also be used directly on the head, or inside of a vaporizer. The menthol in peppermint blocks pain signals to the brain, thereby alleviating headaches.
Natural remedies can be a true relief for senior headaches without the dangers of pain medications. If headaches persist, however, it may be time to call a doctor.
If you believe your senior loved one’s headaches stem from the stress of keeping up with day-to-day activities, it might be time to consider live-in or hourly care in Bridgewater. With Home Care Assistance, you can count on an experienced and compassionate caregiver who can help your loved one with a variety of daily responsibilities, easing your loved one’s stress but still letting him or her maintain independence. Call a Care Manager today at 908.450.9400 to schedule a complimentary in-home consultation. We look forward to hearing from you!