By, Lisa M. O'Neill, DBH, MPH
A person living with dementia can experience pain, just like anyone else. Dementia does not cause pain, but a person living with dementia can be at risk for other things that cause pain such as falls or other injuries. Further, as with most older adults, people with dementia are more likely to have other medical conditions that might cause pain.
However, it might be difficult for them to understand what you are asking or what they are feeling, so they may not be able to tell you if something hurts. Pain can come from multiple sources. It can be temporary, like a headache or sore throat. It can be longer lasting, like a sprained wrist or ankle. It can also be ongoing and persistent, like lower back or nerve pain. The source can also be symptoms of a known or new disease, or the treatment of a disease such as cancer.
By, Hyunjin Noh, PhD, MSW
Watching a loved one struggling with difficult pain can be a traumatic experience for caregivers and can have a negative impact on their mental health. Many caregivers are unaware about palliative care and how it can help them and their loved one. However, palliative care may be a health care option that benefits your loved one, you, and your family.
What is palliative care?
Palliative care is a special type of care for patients with chronic or serious illnesses, such as dementia, cancer, and kidney disease. The goal of these services are not to cure illness. Instead, it focuses on improving quality of life by preventing and managing pain and suffering. Palliative care supports the whole person, not just the illness. For instance, it helps with:
The Caregiving 101 is a resource for caregivers in Alabama who want to learn more about caregiving and dementia.
What would you like to learn more about?