Is the complaint of pain common in dementia patients?

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We have taken her to Drs and give her otc pain meds and have her in physical therapy. Anything else we can do?

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My MIL is able to verbalize and point out the area she is feeling pain.When she hadthe stroke it affected her left side.Did not lose her ability to speak or recognize us.Just wondering if the pain complaints were signs of dementia progressing.Its very trying as we all know dealing with their Dementia day after day always looking for signs of another stroke...hard to know what is the best for them.Just want to make sure we are providing her with best care we can give her.Although I must confess some days I feel like I am going thru motions waiting for her to Pass.Its so sad.Thank You all for your insight and sharing your experiences.
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A religious person who never let a curse word escape their lips can begin to swear like a sailor when they have dementia (no offense to sailors). A modest and proper person who would never think of sexual impropriety in their normal state may make sexually inappropriate and suggestive remarks when they have dementia. Why?

Inhibitions are lifted and dementia people tend to just blurt out what they're feeling without restraint or filtering. I wouldn't presume to think headed to mention patient is being dramatic or seeking attention. Your MIL may have legitimate pain that, on our scale of 1 to 10 would only be a 2 to 4, but with her lack of inhibition and her reduced ability to appropriately assess her feelings, may feel like an 8 or 10.

We learn in veterinary work that animals don't have "symptoms" because a symptom must be described (and that would take a verbal person to do so). Instead, they are called "signs", and as Veronica is mentioning, with a dementia person, whether verbal or not, the caregiver has to pay close attention to the nonverbal signs which will tell you more then the complaints of the patient.

Don't always believe the doctors when they say nothing is wrong because that's not always true. My aunt used to complain to me of her pain all the time but she wouldn't admit it to the doctor or the nurses. She was also resistant to medication. With the doctor's approval, I put liquid tylenol na jus that complimented the flavor. She drank it down and it DID help reduce her complaints of pain. That told me that she did have legitimate pain. Often it is trial and error.
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I don't know your MIL's personality, but my FIL will complain of pain just to get another pill. He loves all medical procedures and medications. Plus with the dementia, he can't remember that they already gave him a pill. So he will complain of pain just to get another pill.
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When someone complains of pain and they are not able to verbalize the type or location. You have to rely on non verbal idications Does she scream when you move her Does she bend over and .hold her belly. does she shake or moan Then there is our old friend the UTI.
There are plenty of comfort measures that can be tried, heat cold and heat lamps muscle relaxants may help, treating constipation. Relaxing in a warm bath, pool or hot tub. gentle massage and putting a limb on a pillow.. Change the sleeping arrangements. We offer hospital beds which can be very comfortable and make the nursing easier. The problem is that they are scary at the end of life. So suggest s recliner , an electric one is most convenient. There are many medication that can be used for non traditional relief of pain. lots of things to try but have no guantees
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This is my MIL I take care of her since her stroke on August 4th.She has arthritis in her back ,neck,hips and hands.We took her to a bone Dr. and he suggested the PT to give her more flexability and of course movement is best.Just wondered what other experiences are with Dementia and over dramatizing the pain.She had this arthritis before her stroke and wasnt one to complain.Knew it was something she just had to deal with. Now I think all the griping is strictly for attention. Thanks for the input.
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I'm going to assume you're talking about your mother, so my first question is how old is she? As people age, the body just starts to fall apart, even though a doctor will say the person is medically fine. But let's face it, after age 50, the joints just aren't what they used to be, and sometimes it feels like your very bones hurt. When someone has dementia, they can't always pinpoint what hurts or what they're experiencing, hence saying nausea when what they really need is some Pepcid AC or a Tums. Often people with dementia are also clinically depressed, and that tends to make people more sensitive to pain.

I must also agree with virtual horizon above: both of my parents have dementia, and I have observed that whatever is ailing my dad, my mother will start complaining of as well. There's not a darn thing wrong with her, I think she just wants attention. Maybe some "monkey see, monkey do" behavior there.
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Where are her pains? Does she have some sort of muscle pain (since you said she's had PT) or does she have stomach, back, etc. pain? My Dad complains every night at dinner time that his stomach hurts. If I ask him what type of pain it is -- is it an actual pain or is it nausea -- he will say that its nausea. This has been going on for a long time. He sees his family doctor every four months and his neuro every four months. Nothing has ever been found that might cause actual pain. The nausea he feels is more than likely from his meds, which all seem to say that stomach upset, etc. is a side effect. He also complains of back pain, which I know he has because he has an arthritic back and bad discs. But if we offer him Tylenol he refuses and says the pain isn't that bad. To answer your question, I think that any physical discomfort affects someone with Alzheimer's more than it does other people. They are also unable to describe fully what they are feeling. They also, if my Dad is any indication, suffer from whatever "pain" anyone else complains of!
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