Aged care staff will be better able to detect and manage residents’ pain using a new pain toolkit developed by NARI researchers

There is a pressing need to improve pain management in aged care, where residents’ pain is both prevalent and a challenge to detect. NARI researchers have collaborated with the Australian Pain Society to develop an updated Pain Management Guide Toolkit to accompany pain management guidelines.

The toolkit will provide ‘at-a-glance’ strategies and resources for clinicians, aged care and allied health workers to deliver best-practice pain management in aged care. It will be freely available to residential aged care homes throughout Australia.

Aged care nurse practitioner Marie says the toolkit will raise pain vigilance, increase awareness of pain risk factors, diagnoses likely to cause pain and types of pain, and greatly improve the quality of life for older people in care.

"It’s a nuanced ability to detect pain in people who are unable to communicate well, and that can be because of dementia, inability to talk or hear properly, inability to speak English or they may come from a cultural background that makes them reluctant to discuss their pain with clinicians," says Marie.

"People also often have multiple chronic conditions that cause pain and impact its treatment. And they have different levels of pain tolerance," she says. "It’s an enormous emotional and physical restriction so you have to work with each individual to find what is best for them."

The Pain Management Guidelines Toolkit will be available to residential aged care facilities in the second half of 2021.

Donate now