Study: Nursing home residents with dementia receive less pain medication

Share this article:
Residents with Alzheimer's and dementia in nursing homes are receiving fewer pain medications than other residents, despite having as many painful, co-morbid conditions, such as cancer and osteoarthritis, according to a new study from the University of North Carolina.

Researchers analyzed data from 551 residents at six nursing homes across North Carolina to reach their conclusions. Overall, 80% of residents with no impairment received pain medication at least occasionally, versus 56% of those who were the most severely impaired.

The findings do not indicate neglect or abuse on the part of the nursing home, rather an inherent difficulty in recognizing pain among their dementia-care residents, according to lead author Dr. Kimberly S. Reynolds. Authors suggest changing prescription pain medication instructions from "take as needed" to a more regular schedule.  
Share this article:

More in News

Congressman requests briefing on nursing home five-star rating system

Congressman requests briefing on nursing home five-star rating ...

A leader in Congress has called for an evaluation of the nursing home five-star rating system in light of a recent New York Times article. Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD) requested ...

CMS: Discharge assessments must be completed when residents transfer to a non-certified ...

Skilled nursing facilities must complete a discharge assessment when a resident is transferred from a certified to a non-certified bed, even if both beds are in the same building, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services emphasizes in a recent memorandum.

Focusing on a single word might improve nursing home residents' quality of ...

An affordable, easily implemented relaxation technique could improve nursing home residents' psychological well-being. It also could potentially boost their immune systems, according to recently published findings.