Improved pain awareness and management is needed to address the widespread under-treatment of pain in aged care, according to Associate Professor Colm Cunningham, director of HammondCare’s Dementia Centre.
Prof Cunningham said evidence showed that around 70 per cent of all older people experienced pain but that was not being recognised in aged care practice.
“About 70 to 75 per cent of older people in aged care and people with dementia will have pain needs so we need to be vigilant to those,” Prof Cunningham told AAA.
“And older people living at home are going to be affected in the same way and we need to learn how to support them at home.”
Prof Cunningham presented a paper tiled Perseverance in pain management: the road less travelled at Hammond Care’s international dementia conference Risky Business 2 in Sydney last month.
After his presentation, AAA’s Natasha Egan spoke to Prof Cunningham about improving aged care’s pain awareness culture: