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Family Caregivers Can Overcome the Challenges of Chronic Pain

Tuesday, January 5, 2010 General News J E 4
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New Resource Helps Meet Challenges of Caring for Loved Ones with Chronic Pain

STAMFORD, Conn., Jan. 5 -- The National Family Caregivers Association (NFCA) has teamed up with the national pain management education program, Partners Against Pain®, and advocate and author Lee Woodruff to create the new Caregiver Cornerstones resource. Caregiver Cornerstones provides information, encouragement, and tools to help family caregivers meet the unique challenges of caring for loved ones suffering from chronic pain, such as making sure your loved one receives appropriate assessment and treatment of their pain.

Experts estimate pain affects 76 million Americans, more people than diabetes, coronary heart disease, and cancer combined. Pain can interfere with daily routine activities and those affected may need help from family and friends. Unfortunately, there has been little information and few resources available to help family caregivers cope with these problems – until now.

The four Caregiver Cornerstones are:

  1. Learning about pain management – Taking an active role in helping to manage a loved one's pain may help you feel more useful and worry less.
  2. Caring for a person with pain – This includes making sure that patients receive proper assessment and follow their treatment plans.
  3. Caring for yourself – Being a family caregiver can be a demanding job. Allow others to help provide a support system.
  4. Advocating for all people in pain – The Caregiver Cornerstones program offers guidance on raising awareness about the importance of access to appropriate and effective pain care.

Lee Woodruff's husband, ABC News anchor Bob Woodruff, was seriously injured by a roadside bomb while covering the war in Iraq in 2006.

"After Bob's accident, our family faced many challenges. As a wife, mother, and a professional, I have worn many hats, but I suddenly found myself in a role I had not anticipated. I became a family caregiver," said Woodruff.  "The Caregiver Cornerstones program will be invaluable in helping people just like me find direction and hope when faced with caring for a loved one in pain."

Suzanne Mintz, president and CEO of NFCA, became a family caregiver when her husband developed multiple sclerosis.

"Each person may feel pain differently. Although it is a physical sensation, perceptions of pain are influenced by social, cultural, and psychological factors," said Mintz. "It can be difficult to make sure your loved one's pain is evaluated appropriately."

More information about the Caregiver Cornerstones program and tips for caring for loved ones suffering from chronic pain can be found at www.partnersagainstpain.com. The site also features an introductory video hosted by Lee Woodruff and Suzanne Mintz and a downloadable brochure.

The National Family Caregivers Association educates, supports, empowers, and speaks up for the more than 50 million Americans who care for loved ones with a chronic illness or disability or the frailties of old age. NFCA reaches across the boundaries of diagnoses, relationships and life stages to help transform family caregivers' lives by removing barriers to health and well being.  More information can be found at www.thefamilycaregiver.org.

Partners Against Pain® is a resource that serves patients, caregivers, and healthcare professionals to help alleviate unnecessary suffering by advancing standards of pain care through education and advocacy. Purdue Pharma L.P. is a privately-held pharmaceutical company known for pioneering research on persistent pain. Headquartered in Stamford, CT, Purdue is engaged in the research, development, production, and distribution of both prescription and over-the-counter medicines and hospital products. Additional information about Purdue Pharma can be found at www.purduepharma.com.

SOURCE Purdue Pharma L.P.

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