Seeking Positive Pathways

Carol Waarala, MSW, LMSW, Certified Specialist in Aging & Dementia

Pain Management: End-Stage Alzheimer’s Disease

pain-managementBecause pain has been under-recognized for persons with Alzheimer’s and other dementias, it has been under-treated. Research is now showing that pain is a common cause of changed behaviors which occur in 90% of persons with dementia. Often times these behaviors are called difficult, problematic, combative, aggressive, etc. – all implying non-compliance on the part of the person living with dementia. The first thing that should be evaluated when these “changes” in behavior occur is unmet pain needs.

For years the theory was that persons with dementia experience less pain or none at all. WRONG! This presentation looks at: Non-verbal pain cues; Successful non-pharmacological interventions that work, The PAIN-AD assessment tool is introduced and explained to help assess pain on a level of 0 to 10.