How to Help a Family Member When They’re in Pain

Updated on August 11, 2021

Recent studies show that a majority of adults suffer from severe body pain, due to the stress and strain of everyday life. Chronic pain is another problem many middle-aged and elderly people suffer from, so it is probable that someone in your close family circle may also be suffering from such a problem. 

Most often, people try to ignore the pain until it becomes unbearable before they go to a physician for actual treatment. We can’t really blame them, since hospital bills can be a burden that anyone would generally try to avoid. In this article, we’ll go over some useful and thoughtful ways you can actually help a family member who’s in a lot of pain, let’s get started.

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1. Encourage Them to Get Help

The first step to take when you find out that a loved one is and has been suffering from pain is to confirm if they are receiving medical help at the moment. If they are, then encourage them to continue getting help and not give up, even if the results they’re seeing are very slow. However, if they have not received help until now, it might be the best time to support them by educating them on the need for receiving medical attention, especially when you don’t really know what the cause for the pain actually is. Sometimes, not dealing with it soon can lead to many other problems or complications, especially if there’s a bigger underlying cause for the physical pain. 

If they resist your ideas of getting help, try understanding why they’re against it. Very often, it’s because people know they can’t afford to spend months or years receiving regular treatment and scheduling monthly appointments, due to the overall cost that the treatment will lead to. 

If this is the case, you can use this opportunity to point them in the right direction, which is getting health insurance that will specifically cover the problem they’re facing. Doing so will enable them to take the next step and be open to receiving regular check-ups and treatment, which will automatically help them recover from their pain. 

2. Help Them Open Up

In most cases, physical pain is combined with emotional and mental stress because people tend to bottle up their pain and irritability (as a result of the constant pain), leading to more stress that can add to their burdens. If you’ve only recently discovered that a family member has been suffering from pain for quite a while, it might be because they’ve got a mind-block that’s been preventing them from opening up or talking about their pain.

One of the many reasons for people who suffer from pain refusing to open up or talk about it much (as you would if you had some other ailment) is because there’s a particular stigma attached to physical pain. Chronic pain is often invisible and immeasurable, which has led to many individuals tagging it as something that’s not as big a deal as those who suffer from it make it seem to be. If your family member has ever been in a position where they felt like they were complaining about something that most people didn’t understand or sympathize with, there’s a chance that they may not feel like talking about their pain to anyone, even if the pain reaches unbearable levels. Make them feel comfortable talking about it, or even ‘complaining’ about it, as this will help them realize that they don’t have to suffer in silence and can share their pain with those around them, starting with their family circle.

3. Make Life Easier For Them Around the House

You may not be able to control everything that happens to them, but you certainly can reduce their strain and discomfort around the house. If you notice that there are certain things they struggle with, help them figure out an easier way to get it done, or find someone who can be around the house to help them with physical activities that they struggle to do by themselves (this can be done in extreme cases where your family member cannot accomplish tasks without the help of someone else).

At the end of the day, you’re going to help them out emotionally, mentally, and even physically just by being around and showing them that you care, no matter how small a difference you’re making. 

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