Pain Management at Home

With the right resources, older adults can successfully manage chronic pain in the comforts of their home

Author: Emily Palmer
A male resident works out on a stationary exercise bicycle.

If you regularly battle pain, you know that finding a way to manage the pain can be challenging. For older adults, a majority suffer from chronic pain that significantly alters their daily activities. Chronic pain has been linked to reduced mobility, dependence on opioid medications, anxiety, depression, and a number of other negative health impacts. This makes it especially important for older adults to be able to access safe and effective pain management. 

While not all pain can be completely eliminated, a well-designed pain management plan works to reduce pain and improve quality of life. When considering treatment plans, many people think of medication but there are other options you can take advantage of at home, with the proper support.

Here are five pain management options that are available to you at home and in your community:

Physical therapy

Physical therapy is one of the best treatment options available for people experiencing chronic pain or recovering from an injury. This treatment, provided by a trained professional, can make you stronger and help you move and feel better. Physical therapy programs typically include stretching and exercises you can safely do at home to maintain your progress. 

Occupational therapy

Occupational therapists are expert in empowering individuals living with chronic pain to engage in the activities that have value and meaning to them, despite their pain. They can offer you adaptive equipment, strategies, and education. Hebrew SeniorLife offers Therapy House Calls for appropriate individuals, and with a referral from a physician we can bring occupational, physical, and other rehab therapies right to your home.

Palliative care

Palliative care is specialized treatment focused on relieving the symptoms and stress of living with a serious illness. It is provided by an interdisciplinary team including doctors, nurses, social workers, and spiritual care. The goal is to improve quality of life for both the patient and the family. At Hebrew SeniorLife, we offer outpatient palliative care for those who are already receiving our home health services.

Complementary therapies

There are many complementary therapies that can be effective in treatment of pain. Massage therapy, meditation, acupuncture, and aromatherapy have all been shown to be beneficial. It can sometimes take some time to find the right combination that works for you, so don’t be afraid to test different options.


Exercise is one of the most important ways you can improve your overall health. While it can be difficult to exercise while living with pain, you will benefit from whatever exercise you are able to do, even if it is just gentle ankle movements or hand squeezes. If you have limited mobility, consider finding exercises you can do while seated or lying down. Exercising in a pool (aquatherapy) can be particularly effective, as it relieves pressure on the joints and allows you to move freely. Hebrew SeniorLife offers a senior fitness program supervised by exercise professionals who are experts in helping older adults maximize their function.

As you explore the many options available, it is important to remember that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to pain management. Your unique experience and circumstances will guide your care team in making a plan that is right for you. With the right supports, it is possible to live a rich and fulfilling life despite the presence of pain.

At Hebrew SeniorLife, the palliative care team guides patients and families through sometimes difficult or challenging conversations about goals of care and treatment options. We offer palliative care consultations for inpatients at Hebrew Rehabilitation Center, and also through our Home Health services. With a physician’s referral, in addition to palliative care you can access a number of services in your home to help you manage pain, including medication management, physical and occupational therapies, help with learning to use adaptive equipment, fall prevention strategies, and much more. Interested in learning more? Contact us online or call 781-234-9900.


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Home Health

Hebrew SeniorLife Home Health will send registered nurses and home health aides to your home to provide skilled care any time you need it.

Palliative Care

Hebrew SeniorLife offers palliative care to homebound seniors through Hebrew SeniorLife Home Health and as a specialty to patients at Hebrew Rehabilitation Center. Palliative care providers focus on treating the symptoms of illness that may be standing in the way of living your best life.

Emily Palmer

About Emily Palmer

Clinical Director of Palliative Care

Emily Palmer is Clinical Director of Palliative Care for Hebrew SeniorLife. She completed her BSN and MSN from Massachusetts General Hospital Institute of Health Professions and a fellowship at Duke University, and is board certified as an Adult and Gerontological...

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