Recognizing Pain in Seniors with Dementia

Author

McKenney Home Care

For more information about the author, click to view their website: McKenney Home Care

Posted on

Sep 25, 2023

Book/Edition

Florida - Southwest

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Studies suggest a large portion of seniors with dementia have unrecognized, severe pain. A recent study out of the University of Rochester suggests that nearly a third of severe pain cases go unrecognized when seniors have dementia.1-3 Pain in dementia can lead to other problems such as agitation, aggression, hallucinations, delusions, depression, impaired physical function, and increased mortality risk. What can we do?

It can be difficult for family caregivers to recognize pain, even severe pain, when loved ones have dementia. Doctors and nurses often rely on reports from family caregivers. When it comes to questions about pain, clinicians should take a moment to try to engage a patient directly. They also need to do observational assessments. Tools such as the Pain Assessment in Advanced Dementia (PAINAD) scale can be used to standardize, quantify, and rate pain assessments. Importantly, tools such as these can guide clinicians in observation techniques that can improve the detection of pain among patients with dementia. Family caregivers can try free tools such as these themselves. Moreover, they can prompt their clinicians to use a pain assessment scale specifically designed for patients with dementia.

Pain Assessment in Advanced Dementia Scale (PAINAD): http://dementiapathways.ie/_filecache/04a/ddd/98-painad.pdf

References

  1. Wang J, Monroe TB, Simning A, Conwell Y, Caprio TV, Cai X, Temkin-Greener H, Muench U, Yu F, Ge S, Li Y. Pain management in home health care: relationship with dementia and facility admissions. Pain Management Nursing. 2021 Feb 1;22(1):36-43.
  2. Paulson CM, Monroe T, Mion LC. Pain assessment in hospitalized older adults with dementia and delirium. Journal of Gerontological Nursing. 2014 Jun 1;40(6):10-5.
  3. Wu N, Miller SC, Lapane K, Roy J, Mor V. Impact of cognitive function on assessments of nursing home residents’ pain. Medical Care. 2005 Sep 1:934-9.   

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Local Services By This Author

McKenney Home Care

Non-Medical 9021 Bonita Beach Road Southeast, Bonita Springs, Florida, 34135

McKenney Home Care provides exceptional, private-duty senior home care services in South Florida, serving Collier, Lee, Sarasota, and Charlotte Counties. As a family-owned agency with a decade of experience, we are driven by our passion for enhancing the quality of life of our clients and their families.Our core values, including accountability, mutual respect, teamwork, service excellence, and integrity, guide us in providing compassionate and competent care. We offer a range of services, including in-home care, skilled nursing, care management, and specialized care for Alzheimer's and dementia patients.With certified dementia practitioners on staff and caregivers trained to work with Alzheimer's and dementia patients, we ensure that each client receives individualized and appropriate care. We also provide skilled nursing services for post-surgery recovery or critical care needs.At McKenney Home Care, we believe that a society that cares for its senior citizens is civilized and enlightened. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you and your loved ones live comfortably and independently.

McKenney Home Care

Home Health 9021 Bonita Beach Road Southeast, Bonita Springs, Florida, 34135

McKenney Home Care provides exceptional, private-duty senior home care services in South Florida, serving Collier, Lee, Sarasota, and Charlotte Counties. As a family-owned agency with a decade of experience, we are driven by our passion for enhancing the quality of life of our clients and their families.Our core values, including accountability, mutual respect, teamwork, service excellence, and integrity, guide us in providing compassionate and competent care. We offer a range of services, including in-home care, skilled nursing, care management, and specialized care for Alzheimer's and dementia patients.With certified dementia practitioners on staff and caregivers trained to work with Alzheimer's and dementia patients, we ensure that each client receives individualized and appropriate care. We also provide skilled nursing services for post-surgery recovery or critical care needs.At McKenney Home Care, we believe that a society that cares for its senior citizens is civilized and enlightened. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you and your loved ones live comfortably and independently.