Assessing Pain in Older Adults

According to the Hartford Institute for Geriatric Nursing 25-50% of older adults living in the community suffer from persistent pain.  Are you effective managing pain in your residents?

The first step in managing pain is to correctly identify it.  In the Hartford Institute’s Try This series describes a number of tools based on a resident’s self report of pain intensity.  The tools include:

The Numeric Rating Scale: Asks a resident to rate their pain by assigning a numerical value from 0 -10, with 10 representing the worst pain imaginable.

The Verbal Descriptor Scale: Asks the resident to describe their pain from “no pain” to “pain as bad as it could be.”

The Faces Pain Scale-Revised: Residents identify a facial expression that corresponds with their pain.

Click here to learn more about Pain Management in Assisted Living, a 1 credit hour course covering the stages of pain, how to evaluate pain, and recommended actions for management.

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