How to Help Seniors Manage Winter Headaches

Senior having a migraine

Migraines are a kind of neurological disorder that causes lightheadedness, nausea, and headaches. Those headaches are frequently preceded by what’s referred to as an “aura.” An aura is a cluster of symptoms like tingling in the leg or arm and visual disturbances that alert the individual that the headache is on the way. Typically, the headaches are described as painful and throbbing, are commonly situated on one part of the head, and might be accompanied by vomiting, nausea, and sensitivity to sound and light. Continue reading to learn how you can help seniors manage winter headaches.

When Should You Seek Help?

The majority of headaches, which include migraines, aren’t dangerous.  However, occasionally headaches may be an indication of some other type of underlying disorder. If the individual’s headache is accompanied by any of these, she or he is advised to obtain more immediate medical care:

Get help if the individual has:

  • Pain that’s made a lot worse with sneezing, coughing, or additional movement
  • New headache discomfort after age 50
  • Extended aura symptoms that last more than a couple of hours
  • Abrupt onset serious headache
  • Extremely painful and/or extremely stiff neck
  • Seizures
Senior Having a Migraine
Senior Having a Migraine

Who Can Get a Migraine?

Females are 3X more likely to get headaches and migraines than males – and the majority of folks will have their initial episode in young adulthood or childhood. It’s rare for migraines to begin after age 40. Many people suffering from migraines have close relatives who additionally suffer from migraines. Also, we know that in females, hormonal changes seem to be a solid factor during menopause, puberty, pregnancy, as well as the menstrual cycle.

Age seems to help alleviate migraines. People frequently witness a lessening of symptoms after age 50. But many age 65 and up still experience migraines.

Prevention and Triggers

Some things related to migraines produce clues regarding potential prevention. We understand that in a lot of migraine sufferers, specific foods may trigger a migraine headache. A way to know this is by folks tracking their headaches and what actually leads up to them.

Have a Headache Journal

The first recommendation for prevention includes keeping a journal to track things such as water intake, sleep, menstrual cycles, foods, and headaches.  When you begin seeing patterns, it’s possible to begin developing a list of triggers you should avoid.

Avoid Food Triggers

Different folks might experience different triggers, some are extremely common.  Alcohol, chocolate, aged cheese – red wine, in particular, highly caffeinated drinks, salty food sources all have been claimed to cause migraines.

Avoid Stress

In research, people more stressed usually get more migraines. Decrease all times with difficult people, external pressures, etc. as much as you can.

Avoid Overstimulation

Some headaches are brought on by loud noises, bright lights, and strong smells.


Some folks have claimed that once they feel a headache starting, going for a jog or walk may stop the process before it turns into a pulsing headache.

Home and Professional Treatment

If you experience migraines, the best path of action includes seeing a doctor. They will make a diagnosis and give you several choices for therapies that may assist with the headaches. Some medicine may have severe complications or side effects; therefore, make sure to ask many questions regarding the benefits and risks of different kinds of medications for migraines.  For elderly individuals who might be on several medications, that’s extremely important.

Alternate and Home Remedies

  • Exercise – routine exercisers might experience fewer headache incidences
  • Water – sufficient intake of water, such as the recommended eight glasses of water per day, might help
  • Omega 3’s – The special fats are discovered in flax seeds and fatty fish. Some studies suggest it might assist in preventing headaches.
  • Stress-Reducing Activities – yoga, meditation, and massage might help you relax. Those various types of relaxation are promising in helping sufferers of migraines
  • Sufficient Magnesium – Consuming foods that are rich in magnesium might help the ones who have migraines. Foods that are high in magnesium are green, dark, leafy vegetables like kale and spinach, fish, oatmeal, kidney beans, nuts, lentils, and bananas.
  • Ginger – a bit of real ginger that is shaved off and then added to salads, tea or soups may help with nausea related to migraines.
  • Acupuncture – According to research in the Lancet Neurology, “47% of participants within the acupuncture group … had a decrease of migraine days by 50% or more.”

Elderly Individuals and Migraines

Since elderly individuals frequently suffer from more than one chronic condition and might be taking more medicine, it’s vital that you weed out the causes and effects of headaches. Occasionally, some types of medicine might actually be causing the migraine. In other instances, some types of medicine might cancel out migraine medicine, which makes it ineffective. Also, specific disorders are related to migraines, such as depression. Sometimes, it’s difficult to discover which came first or which one is causing the other! So, it’s important that you work closely with the doctor to ensure that he/she knows about all medicines and other conditions to not just find the probable cause, yet also to figure out which treatments work best. Keeping a journal over a lengthy time period will help sort out those problems and lead to a better knowledge of the overall health picture of the individual.

Are you or your loved one having chronic headaches? 

At Inspire Home Care, our home health care professionals are dedicated to providing you or your loved one with personalized, high-quality Philadelphia home care services in a dignified and respectful manner. Our HHAs are available to assist in doctor’s visits, transportation, etc. We treat each of our patients as if they were family. Please call us at (215) 576 – 2273 to find out how we can help your loved one.

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