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Recognizing Pain in Someone Who Might Not Communicate It Well

Sometimes your senior might not be able to communicate pain. She might be temporarily non-verbal, or her memory is failing her to a degree that makes communication difficult. It’s vital for her comfort and her safety to be able to determine when she’s in pain so you can take steps to help her.

Try Asking if She’s in Pain


Elderly Care Hazlet, NJ: Recognizing Pain

If your senior can communicate, try asking her outright if she’s in pain. Sometimes caregivers overlook this option because memory issues or communication problems might make the answers unpredictable. Even with those complications, though, your senior may be able to give you a general idea where she’s experiencing pain and how severe it might be. She may not be able to tell you in sentences, but she might wince or otherwise indicate that your question was accurate. The prompt of the question may help her to offer you at least a little bit of information.

Look for the Physical Symptoms of Pain
Asking doesn’t always work, as helpful as it can be to just plain ask. You also need to be aware of the visible signs of pain. Your senior’s signs might vary a bit, especially depending on the type of pain she’s experiencing. Her breathing might be more labored, or she might be restless. Irritability, problems sleeping, and trouble eating are also common. If your senior is rubbing or cradling a part of her body, that’s also a sign you need to pay attention to. You may not always be there with your senior, though. Hiring elderly care providers helps to ensure that she’s got someone there who can spot the same signs you’re watching for daily.

Develop a Plan with Her Doctor
The most important aspect of managing your senior’s pain when it’s difficult for her to communicate it to you is to formulate a plan with her doctor. Together you can put together routines, solutions, and possible workarounds to help ensure that you’re able to not only assess but also alleviate her pain when she experiences it. That way you’re less likely to worry about her being in pain that you’re unaware of her experiencing.

It’s so difficult to manage your senior’s pain for her if she can’t remember to tell you what’s going on or if she’s simply past the point of communicating with you. You must rely on your own intuition, your observations, and what you learn from your senior’s medical team about helping her with pain management.

Excerpt: Your senior might be experiencing pain, but if she can’t communicate that fact to you, you can’t respond appropriately.

If you or an aging loved one are considering Elderly Care in Hazlet NJ, please contact the caring staff at Lares Home Care 888-492-3538 or 732-566-1112.