Painaustralia has called for prioritisation of pain management in aged care quality standards to prevent escalation of pain conditions and severe behaviours associated with poorly treated or untreated pain in aged care residents.
In order to improve patient comfort and quality of life, in addition to reducing levels of pain, ‘effective treatment’ must be defined as a best practice interdisciplinary approach.
It is also important to ensure that best practice pain management becomes a key part of ongoing accreditation for aged care facilities as well as education for the residential aged care workforce, consumers and their families.
The guide – a best practice approach on all aspects of pain management in aged care developed by experts in the field – draws from the latest research as well as insights in clinical practice, and provides a valuable tool for pain management education and reform in the sector.
At least 80 per cent of aged care residents have chronic pain, and evidence suggests that pain is often under-treated in older people.
Clear and reportable quality indicators that focus on pain management, reporting and education could make a big impact on quality of care for these people and should be implemented as a priority.