At some time or another, we have all experienced pain, which can be debilitating and prevent us from participating in activities with our friends and family. It can also lead to social isolation and depression if not managed.
So, imagine those living in aged care services who not only have to deal with their general health but, more often than not, suffer from chronic pain. Living in our homes, we have the luxury of going to our cupboards and taking medication to help our pain when it occurs. Consumers living in residential aged care services need to rely on staff to deliver medications and other treatments to them in a timely manner to keep their pain in check.
1 in 5 Australians live with chronic pain – including adolescents and children. This includes 1 in 3 people over the age of 65.
As carers in an aged care setting, you can make a difference to those who are suffering and in pain, sometimes in silence. Pain can cause people to react in different ways and can be an underlying cause to:
- Changed behaviours – leading to unnecessary prescribing of psychotropic medication
- Consumers isolating themselves
- Lack of appetite
- Increased falls
So, what are you doing in your aged care homes to address the issue of pain management?
Having a good understanding of the level of pain a consumer is experiencing will assist in developing a pain management plan for that resident which may include but is not limited to:
- Activity program to manage pain
- Medication management
There are many assessments that can be undertaken but there is technology available to support carers in really assessing consumers levels of pain and the effectiveness of medication given to relieve that pain.
An electronic medication management system can provide oversight at a click of a button as to what pain medications are being used, frequency of use and by whom. Reports are available to identify the effectiveness of the medications administered which provide information for the GPs to gauge if they have the resident on the right medication or not.
An electronic medication system coupled with technology that can assess the consumers pain using biometrics, taking the ambiguity out of a carers assessment will provide the GP with a true indication of the management of the consumers pain, and an opportunity to review and amend pain medication.
Help your consumers live the best life possible by ensuring pain management is addressed in your service.
If you would like to know more, get in touch.