Key Points

Sub-optimally managed pain can increase healthcare utilization and expenditures, contribute to family and caregiver distress, diminish quality of life and functional independence, and affect sleep, appetite, and even cognitive function.  Optimizing pain control in the elderly requires attention to several issues: (1) assessment of functional age, (2) effects of polypharmacy, (3) impact of comorbidities, and (4) comprehensive communication with the family and their support system.  A comprehensive pain assessment includes evaluation of not only physical pain but also any emotional, spiritual, or social components of pain. 


Pain Management Handout

Assessing Pain in Older Adults Powerpoint