Pain Management for our senior population

Liver diseases such as PBC can cause pain, either due to liver function or the complications of liver failure. Pain can also lead to depression and isolation.

Pain can lead to
depression and isolation.

Pain is often a significant issue for many senior citizens. Whether from arthritis or injury due to a fall, suffering with pain can be a chronic problem for many seniors.

If you care for an elderly family member, or for yourself as we face an aging population, recognition of pain and the need for treatment is an important step in the care of the patient.

Medications for pain can be
effective in elderly patients

True Story: A few years ago, my father-in-law was hospitalized for a heart attack. Thankfully it was a mild attack. Unfortunately, the ER team pumped him full of a blood thinner and he suffered a severe internal bleed in his buttocks and legs which was very painful. I was there to help advocate for him during this incident. When he was admitted- they took a list of his medications but no one prescribed continued use of his existing medications.

He had severe withdraw symptoms for abrupt discontinuation of his Fentanyl Transdermal pain prescription (75mcg) for severe nerve pain in his neck from a failed nerve block surgery. He’d been on a stable dose for years but now, with no warning or support, that care wasn’t provided. It wasn’t until three days later when they moved him to a rehab facility that I was able to get him back on his Fentanyl pain medication.

Too often, senior patients can’t navigate the healthcare system to obtain appropriate care. This is frightening because many have some form of dementia that interferes with open communication. Having this documentation can help facilitate constructive dialog about needed care.

For the population that is over 65 years old, who currently or may in the future suffer with chronic pain, this scientific paper may help you in setting treatment goals with physicians. It dispels non-evidenced practices and acts as a framework to help people who are geriatric patients get appropriate pain management treatments.

Talking to your doctor about your chronic pain may be difficult but necessary for your physical and emotional health.

Be an advocate for best practices in care for your loved ones and yourself.

Take care,


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