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When I was caring for my father, dying from colon cancer, he would want me to call Dr. Kevorkian to put him out of his misery. His brain power was reduced, but I wouldn't say he had dementia, or only a little. Visiting nurse would tell me to give him two pain pills, and then "he'll fall asleep, and when he wakes up, he'll feel better." It always worked. My father didn't complain about pain, but I think that even at a low level, it made him feel bad and act bad.

My husband with mild dementia isn't like that, but I read about all your parents who are so difficult, and I wonder if pain medication - even Tylenol - might help? It would not be a cure for dementia, or for a nasty personality, but could it help a little?

Are our loved ones in pain? What are the pros and cons of treating them for pain? I know everyone will have an opinion!

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There's absolutely no reason why someone with dementia should not have good pain management. I'd talk with your husband's doctor about the issue.

It won't change his personality, but anyone in pain is going to be less than cheerful, and if he can't articulate his pain, there's no choice for him but to act out.

If he has no known condition that causes pain, he still could have some aching from arthritis, a muscle spasm or even a headache. In that case, a general pain medication could help a lot.

Please talk with his doctor about the pros and cons so you know what to do to help him, and even yourself.
Take care,
Carol
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