• To understand the complexity of assessing pain in older people, particularly those with dementia
• To recognise the importance of always attempting to elicit a verbal pain report from an older person
• To count towards revalidation as part of your 35 hours of CPD, or you may wish to write a reflective account (UK readers)
• To contribute towards your professional development and local registration renewal requirements (non-UK readers)
Pain occurs in a wide range of diseases and long-term conditions associated with ageing and can affect every aspect of an individual’s life, reducing their ability to recover, their independence and their quality of life.
The assessment of pain is an important aspect of nurses’ role and requires them to obtain detailed information on how the older person experiences pain and how pain is affecting their life. However, there are many challenges to effective pain assessment in older people, including challenges concerning communication and cognition.
This article provides an overview of pain assessment in older people, particularly those living with dementia, based on the author’s expertise and on relevant literature, notably the recently revised UK national guidelines on the assessment of pain in older people.
Nursing Older People. doi: 10.7748/nop.2021.e1293Peer review
This article has been subject to external double-blind peer review and has been checked for plagiarism using automated softwareCorrespondence
Gregory J (2021) Holistic pain assessment in older people and older people living with dementia. Nursing Older People. doi: 10.7748/nop.2021.e1293
Published online: 06 January 2021
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