May 24, 2021

Better With Age? Pain Management of the Older Adult

Pain is common in the aging population. Findings from an NIH funded study looking at the impact on pain in the older adult found that over 50% of people surveyed had pain within the last month, often in more than one location.

Despite the high prevalence of pain, pain often remains undertreated, resulting in impaired cognition, decreased socialization, sleep disturbances, and a reduced quality of life. Our bodies react differently to medications due to medical comorbidities and metabolic changes due to the aging process itself. Understanding the correct choices of analgesic utilizing a multimodal approach to treatment is important in providing safe and effective pain therapies. Patients with dementia or in the late stages of disease may propose a unique pain control challenge due to difficulty in the ability to verbalize pain.

This session will explain the differences in response to analgesic medications due to the aging process and provide recommendations for individualized pain control based on specific patient characteristics.