Many individuals with dementia can clearly express their pain symptoms, but not all everyone with dementia are able to, depending on the progression of the disease. Do not assume that someone with dementia cannot express themselves. If your mom with dementia says she is in pain, listen to her and try to figure out where the pain is coming from. However, there are many individuals with dementia who cannot express their pain so clearly. The changes in the brain caused by dementia cause an overall increase in confusion and eventually make it harder for someone to express themselves and recall information. So how do you help your loved one who you suspect is experiencing discomfort? This blog will discuss nonverbal expressions of pain and common causes of pain for someone with dementia. It is important to remember to always seek advice from a medical professional, if you suspect your loved one is in pain. However, medical professionals often rely on the help of caregivers to tell them the signs and symptoms that have been observed.

5 Common Nonverbal Expressions of Pain:

1.) Facial Expressions

Grimacing, frowning, distorted expression, and rapid blinking.

2.) Touching Areas on the Body

This might be a sign that pain is being experienced in those areas.

3.) Drastic Change in Behavior

For instance, yells, anger, anxiety, irritability, and more withdrawn.

4.) Not Eating

5.) Labored Breathing or Increased Blood Pressure

This list is simply a starting point. Everyone with dementia is different. Caregivers tend to be the most informative because they spend the most time with the person with dementia. If you notice any major change in normal behavior, that would be enough to alert a medical provider. It might be helpful to look through the list below when talking with your medical provider because you may have an idea of where the pain is coming from and could offer more insight for the medical provider.

6 Common Causes of Pain:

1.) Health Conditions

2.) Injuries

3.) Infections

4.) Digestive Issues

5.) Pressure Sores

6.) Reactions to New Medications

Recognize that pain is not easy to identify in people with dementia and for their caregivers. It can be a frustrating process but remember there is support available for you. Please call Denver Senior Care consultants for more resources and support. You are not alone.