Pain in a Senior With Late-Stage Alzheimer’s Disease
One of the greatest challenges that you will face as a family caregiver for a senior going through Alzheimer’s disease is the loss of that parent’s ability to communicate with you. While difficulties with communication such as not being able to find the right word, stumbling over sentences, or using nonsense words and sounds in the place of words can occur in the earlier stages of the disease, the most severe communication problems will occur during advanced Alzheimer’s disease.
At this point, your senior may no longer be able to communicate at all, which can lead to frustration and upset for both of you. One time when this is particularly troublesome is when your parent is in pain. Because they are unable to effectively communicate this pain, they may act out or express negative behaviors that can threaten both of you. Being able to recognize pain allows you to address the pain, comfort your parent, and prevent serious complications.
Use these tips to recognize pain in a senior with late-stage Alzheimer’s disease:
- Check their skin. Paleness or flushing can both indicate pain.
- Look at their facial expressions. Cringing, grimacing, gritting their teeth, or biting their lips can all be signs that your parent is in pain.
- Look for outward signs of injury or other problems that could be painful, such as sores, cuts, bruises, tears, or rashes.
- Pay attention to signs of illness such as vomiting or fever as these can come with pain.
- Listen for sounds that your parent might make, such as grunting, groaning, moaning, or “hissing” that could be a sign of pain.
- Watch for behavioral signs such as lashing out, anxiety, irritability, yelling, or refusing to cooperate with care efforts.
Starting senior care for your parent can be an exceptional way for you to ensure that your senior is getting everything that they need to maintain their quality of life as they age in place. The highly personalized services of a senior home care services provider are tailored to your parent as an individual. This means that they will specifically address your parent’s challenges, needs, and limitations while encouraging them to live a lifestyle that is as active, independent, and fulfilling as possible as they age in place.
These services can include anything from safe and reliable transportation that allows your parent to go where they want and need to when they want and need to rather than waiting for you to assist in fulfilling activities of daily living to companionship to boost mental and emotional health. As their family caregiver, this can give you peace of mind and reassurance that your senior is in good hands even when you are not able to be with them.