Home > Health & Wellness > Health Library > Dementia: Assessing Pain
The easiest way to learn about someone's pain level is to ask and get an answer. But when someone has severe dementia, communicating can be difficult. Memory problems can also get in the way.
But there are ways you can assess pain with few to no words. The more you get to know a person, the better you can understand his or her signals.
A person with dementia is still aware of emotions and may become upset when sensing anger or irritation in your voice.
Touch may be better understood than words.
Stop trying to connect. You can try again later.
People with severe dementia often express pain in ways that you wouldn't expect. To learn about a person's pain, get to know his or her own behaviors and habits. Someone with dementia might express pain with:
When you know a person with dementia, you can see behavior changes that others don't always notice. Your knowledge is a valuable resource for a doctor trying to assess and treat this person.
If you see changes in behavior, expressions, or activity that may be signs of pain, contact your dementia care team right away. It's important to diagnose the cause. It may be pain, but there may be other causes, such as infection, that also would need prompt treatment.
Current as of:
June 16, 2021
Author: Healthwise StaffMedical Review: Kathleen Romito MD - Family MedicineMartin J. Gabica MD - Family MedicineAdam Husney MD - Family MedicineChristine Fordyce MD - Family Medicine, Geriatric Medicine
Current as of: June 16, 2021
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine & Martin J. Gabica MD - Family Medicine & Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine & Christine Fordyce MD - Family Medicine, Geriatric Medicine
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