Patient Centered Pain Control Of Elderly People With Dementia

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Patient Centered Pain Control in Elderly People with Dementia
There is a growing geriatric population of people with dementia throughout the world that are living in pain constantly. Because dementia as a condition with multifaceted symptomology manifested by advancing overall decline of cognitive ability, it causes severe and distinctive barriers to pain assessment and pain management in this population. The existencee of multiple comorbidities, polypharmacy and the declinining cognition in this population result in a much more complex pain symptomology. Zwakhalen, Hamers, Abu-Saad, & Berger, (2006), explain that common behaviors associated with pain may be absent or difficult to interpret in this population because some dementia symptoms may be an indication of pain, but such behavior, however, might also be incorrectly interpreted as a symptom of dementia. Therefore, pain in this population is exceptionally challenging to evaluate and manage as a result of this difficulty.
Although there have been many improvements in health care, pain in the elderly people with dementia is often undertreated and at times it is not addressed at all. Behavioral expressions of untreated pain in this population are common and the inappropriate prescription of psychotropic medication to mask the behavioral manifestations of pain instead of addressing the pain causing the behavioral symptoms is the norm (Achterberg et. al., 2013, p. 1479). Untreated pain in this population is also a major
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