Pain and COVID 19: International Dementia Conference
Pain is a very common and personal experience that can have a significant impact on people’s lives. Over 3.37 million Australians experience chronic pain and the prevalence increases with age. Pain also overlaps with dementia: it is estimated that up to 80 per cent of aged care residents have chronic pain, while 53 per cent of people in residential aged care have a diagnosis of dementia. As a result, pain is often undetected or mistreated in many aged care residents.
People with chronic pain may be more susceptible to COVID-19, particularly older people. It is important to recognise and manage pain in the best way possible for older people – the threat of COVID-19 makes this critical. While the findings of the Royal Commission into Aged Care highlighted much-needed changes in the aged care sector, the added complication of COVID-19 creates a perfect storm for timely action to bring these improvements forward.