A Tool to Measure Pain in Persons with Dementia
I attended a workshop this morning called “Challenging Behaviors and Creative Responses” led by Dan Kuhn, LCSW and author of Alzheimer’s Early Stages: First Steps for Family, Friends and Caregivers. I learned a few tips, which I’ll share over the next few days.
Today, I wanted to share a tool clinicians use to measure pain in persons with dementia who, as the disease progresses, often cannot share the cause and severity of their pain. The tool, called Pain Assessment in Advanced Dementia (PAINAD) scale, measures five specific indicators of pain: the caree’s breathing, vocalization, facial expression, body language, and consolability.
Although a tool for clinician, you may find it helpful. You can find the scale and a case study use of it at NursingCenter.com.
It’s awful to wonder what’s wrong with your caree and not know if your caree feels pain. And, pain, Dan said, can be a trigger which leads to challenging behavior. He suggested that a common ailment as we age—arthritis—may not be treated appropriately in persons with dementia. Their untreated pain may create behavior such as agitation. Understanding your caree’s pain can help you discuss treatment options with your caree’s physician.
After you’ve had a chance to review the scale, share your thoughts about whether you think it will be helpful in our comments section, below.
- Lee Woodruff Answers Your Questions about Pain (caregiving.com)
- Taking the Follow (caregiving.com)
- Alzheimer’s Diagnostic Guidelines Updated (caregiving.com)
- Alzheimer’s Caregivers May Be at Risk for Dementia (webmd.com)