Nursing Practices and Management of Pain in Elderly Patients
The article addresses pain management in old patients in long-term care facilities. Pain management is a major focus in healthcare today, especially among elderly patients yet, pain is still one of the major problems facing elderly patients, especially in long-term care facilities. The Federal guidelines state that residents and care providers in long-term care facilities must follow the necessary procedures to ensure the highest possible degree of physical, mental, and psychological health of the patients, including pain assessment and management practices (Gropelli, 2013). The majority of the patients in LTC facilities are suffering from chronic and acute pain and if the pain is not properly managed, it may lead to detrimental effects on their physical and mental well-being (Gropelli, 2013). Assessing pain in old patients is challenging especially if the patient is suffering from dementia and memory loss, hence the need for nurses and practitioners to follow guidelines carefully.
Limited research regarding managing pain in elderly patients exists. Pain management in the elderly is different from the same exercise in younger adults especially because older patients usually present with health complications linked to old age and failing body organs such as the liver and kidneys. Furthermore, common assumptions that pain is normal in the elderly hinder effective treatment of the pain (Gropelli, 2013). The research carried out in the article is important in the nursing practice in breaking common presumptions in nurses about pain in old people, enabling nurses to focus on all spheres of pain besides physical and giving recommendations on how the nurses can widen their education based about pain management. One applicable element of the article for a nursing student is the continuous learning and updating information about pain management among the elderly to ensure that the patients are physically, mentally, and psychologically healthy.
Gropelli, T., & Sharer, J. (2013). Nurses’ Perceptions of Pain Management in Older Adults. MEDSURG Nursing, 22(6), 375.