Nursing Home Residents May Have Challenging Time Talking About Their Pain

CHICAGO. According to experts who work with dementia patients, these patients may have difficulty expressing their pain or even knowing where their pain comes from. In fact, according to the New Yorker, some of the more disturbing behavior exhibited by nursing home patients are not inevitable. In fact, behaviors including violence, aggression, and trying to escape the nursing home may be symptoms indicating that a patient is not receiving the care he or she needs. In fact, nursing homes that specialize in treating dementia are focusing more on how patients feel rather than how they think.

So, what can families do if their loved one exhibits violent behaviors, is agitated, or wanders away? In some cases, residents may be hungry, in pain, or uncomfortable. Dementia sufferers sometimes have trouble remembering to eat. Families can ask nursing home staff when food is offered (it should be offered at regular intervals) and if snacks are regularly available. Residents may need to see pain specialists to help assess whether a loved one is in pain. Finally, research has shown that pleasurable experiences release endorphins that can soothe a resident long after the memory of the pleasant experience is gone. Families should ask about how loved ones are being entertained and treated throughout the day.

What should families do if they don’t get satisfactory answers to these questions? Overwhelmed nursing home staff may act one way around residents and another way around families. If you notice signs of nursing home abuse or believe that your loved one isn’t receiving the care he or she deserves, you may want to speak to the Dinizulu Law Group, Ltd., nursing home abuse lawyers in Chicago. Nursing home abuse can be sometimes difficult to detect. If your gut tells you something is wrong, you may want to ask for help.

Helping nursing home residents express pain can also improve quality of life. However, according to the BMJ Journal, many pain assessment methods assume that a patient will be communicative. For a dementia or Alzheimer’s patient, this may not be possible. In fact, research has indicated that dementia patients may suffer from undertreated pain. When nursing homes have staff on hand who specialize in treating dementia patients, these patients may be more likely to get the care they need and deserve. For instance, nurses with experience understand the possible side effects of certain drugs and may be able to discern when a resident’s distress could be the result of pain.

Caring for nursing home residents can be complex. However, overwhelmed staff sometimes fail to offer these residents the proper support that they need. There have been cases where staff overmedicated patients or even abused their patients, rather than offering them the care they deserve. If you believe your loved one may not be receiving the care he or she deserves, you may want to speak to the nursing home abuse lawyers at the Dinizulu Law Group, Ltd. in Chicago. Our firm can ask the tough questions to fight for the best care possible for your loved one.

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