In September ADDCA went on with the conferences to members and public, with twenty-five attendances. We publicized this topic with an article in a local newspaper. The nurse, Sandra Silva, dedicated studies about the Caregivers of patients with Chronic Diseases, particularly Chronic Pain:
«About 25% of patients feel that Chronic Pain leads to the destruction of relationships with family and friends. Family members of the chronically ill should be informed about their active role as caregivers, learning how to manage interpersonal and family relationships.
It is usually the families who look after their elderly, especially their closest relatives, mostly wives, daughters, daughters-in-law. Thus, they accumulate work and stress when fulfilling the tasks related to care, like being a parent, a partner and having as well a professional life, so that often they themselves feel physically and mentally debilitated; they manifest feelings of frustration, anxiety, restlessness and a constant worry, symptoms that lead to social isolation if there is no prevention and attention to these problems.
This reality is unquestionable, and today the family is the main source of support for the dependent elderly, in the sense of maintaining the person in their own home. It is the family member who supports the needs of the elderly in cases of illness at home.
The elderly person himself waits for pain as his age progresses, avoiding to verbalize it so as not to be hospitalized, to perform complementary diagnostic tests, painful treatments and to avoid loss of independence, becoming itself an obstacle to the correct evaluation and treatment of pain. However, because there is still a social conviction that older people are less sensitive to pain, most people view it as a normal fact for their age, which causes chronic pain to be under-reported and not effectively treated. It is usually a severe pain caused by the progression of the disease, the consequences of therapeutic interventions, such as radiotherapy, or psychological reactions, which makes its treatment difficult due to the complexity of multiple intervening factors»
The fight against the pain in the elderly is a multidisciplinary task. It needs a partnership between the elderly/family, primary health care, hospital care, social institutions. It should be oriented towards prevention, based on strategies that facilitate care and caring for the elderly at home, not forgetting that the feelings and reality that families experience when caring for their elderly relative with chronic pain at home, as well as the quality of life depends greatly on the relief of pain.