My mother cannot stand any kind of pain, does this happen with age?

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She had two teeth pulled and they put in a fabber with four teeth she has no patience for her gums to get wll

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My husband has dementia and is in a nursing home and I find he can't handle pain. There is no longer the ability to reason and understand what is happening and all they seem to be concerned with is their comfort.
Although my mother has always had a low threshold to pain, it's magnified 10,000 times now that she is older. When she broke her tailbone, you'd have thought someone was stabbing her repeatedly all over her body....ALL DAY. It was only when my brother asked her "Mom, do you have to do all that screaming?" that she finally squelched some of the noises.
As we progress in age the body changes considerably, pain increases everything seems to hurt and patience they have no longer will be there , try to comfort her in any way you can i know this can be hard i am a licensed home care nurse i see it all however family members have more difficulty understanding the aging process of a parent or loved one. sometime we have to take the bull by the rains if you know what i mean do not let them manipulate and control then u will find yourself in a whole different mess just let them know hey this is what it is and you have to work at it i pray her pain subsides
Top Answer
Yes, I believe that the in the elderly, tolerance for pain decreases. IMO, an elder in pain deserves not only pain relief measures via prescribed Rx or OTC analgesics, but also palliative measures like linament or heating pad. They also need our compassion. Many times they cannot adequately express the source of their pain, or they may exxagerate it due to a state of agitation (catch-22 there). In the case you describe, the dentist should have given your Mom an Rx for pain. With the elderly, the discomfort from the extractions may last longer than usual, and on top of that she has a "fabber" (temporary bridge?) on top of sore gums. The older we get, the longer it takes for us to heal. We will all be in their shoes some day. Please advocate for your mother's well-being and get her something for her pain.
My mom suffers greatly from osteo arthritis, but each day comes some new thing it seems and she will completely shut down and obsess over what is going on; whether it be a headache or constipation. She always went to the emergency room for minor things most would not go for, when she lived by herself.
Also has had many cosmetic surgeries, bariatric surgery,so she thinks a pill or surgery is the answer for anything.
I take care of her in my home, so it is difficult to see her obsessing over everything Sometimes just some pain that the doctor has said many times there is no complete answer for.
Another thing is her bowels. Put on laxatives at a young age, her intestines have become less efficient in and of themselves, so when she does not have a BM each day, she REALLY gets worried as old school taught that. Will shut down activities for that also and brood, obsess about it.
I'm assured most of her behavior is normal in elderly with dementia, but it can really drive one crazy sometimes, because their fears, altho unfounded usually, are VERY real to them.
There are neurological conditions that produce intense pain, which are often dismissed by physicians and civilians alike because they have either never seen it nor experienced it. My Mom screamed when I tried to cover her with a sheet. I mean screamed in agony. The Hospice nurse explained that nerve receptors were changing and any movement or motion would produce unbearable pain. Yes, some people with dementia scream a lot. But there is palliative care and it is cruel to make assumptions about another's pain. Soldiers on the battlefield have been known to shoot beloved comrades because of their pain. This is not a behavioral issue. This is human existence, look up the meaning of "compassion" and stop watching out for yourself only.
I am sure when she had work done she was told what to do and to take, i am aware of this pain in the gums and with dementia. continue to work with her, and with the dementia let her have her way and do as she pleases. seems thats the answer others would give i know this to well and all my clients are given love with restrictions and care. with all meds needed for pain i really do hope it all comes together for her sake..
My dad was always a very brave and determined man. At 89 yo I discovered he was claustrophobic and his tolerance for pain was greatly diminished. I do believe the natural increased frailty of the very elderly decreases their tolerance of pain. Even so, dad remained my brave hero.

It is hard to watch.

Best wishes
I don't think most people, especially caregivers, are "insensitive" to the pain of other people, I truly think most are unaware of the serious nature of pain.

I have been in the position of experiencing all three kinds of pain problems. OMG, you say, there are THREE KINDS? Yes, that has been my experience (and others may choose to add their own perception and interpretation) and here they are:

1) As a paramedical esthetician, I took care of many Plastic and Reconstructive post-procedure patients from full face lifts to nose jobs, from tummy tucks 2 liposuction. Tho the majority were elective surgeries, I can tell you there is still a lot of pain. Over and over again I witnessed the under medication of the patient by the doctor who was in my opinion relatively insensitive to the pain the patient was going through. With the doctor's experience, you would think they would know better. In the beginning with doctors who didn't know me, they actually thought I was exaggerating the patients pain. As they came to know me and realized that I was honestly advocating for the patients, the individual doctors started becoming more and more educated about the pain after effects of their surgeries, which they didn't seem to have understood from all the years of experience. Now, I ask you, if a doctor doesn't understand this, how can they participate in educating a caregiver? No, what happens is caregivers have to learn by trial and error, and unless they have prior experience with someone else, its on a case by case basis similar to reinventing the wheel each time.

2) I have also cared directly or indirectly for 8 people with different forms of dementia and one person with Lou Gehrig's disease (ALS). ALL have had pain in one form or another in different parts of their body and because of the nature of the dementia people being poor informants and the ALS man being unable to communicate, the pain was very frustrating to them. My mom who passed in January at 94-1/2 had severe osteoarthritis. Before her drug-induced dementia, she had had and ankle fusion, bilateral hip replacements and a knee replacement in addition to several eye surgeries and other dermatological surgeries. I just can we referred to her as Bionic and the truth was if she had not gotten to the age she was, she would have needed her other knee replaced as well as both of her shoulders. She was in severe pain all the time but she had hepatitis B and was unable to take NSAIDs, van had hallucinogenic reactions to vicodin, so she was put on darvocet, which undoubtedly contributed to her heart problem - atrial fibrillation - one of the reasons darvocet was completely removed from the market. My poor mom was in pain and driven to tears in many instances because of her shoulders. Many years before, she had opted not to have shoulder replacements because she said she didn't walk on her shoulders. Many yrs later, it appeared that that had been an ill-advised decision because her pain was excruciating and now all she had was tramadol an extra strength tylenol. It wasn't enough and her orthopedic doctor wanted to put her on morphine but my sister, my mom's health POA by subterfuge, who barely ever spent time around by mom or her pain, would not agree and managed to convince my moms PCP that it wasn't "the right thing". So my mom lived every day of her last 3 years in serious pain.

3) In my own case, I have what my doctor calls the worst fibromyalgia she's ever seen and in addition need double hip replacement. I have what is called a fixed deformity of my hips, so although I use a rolling Walker to get around, i leaving at a 30 degree angle and that puts a lot of pressure on my hands. In effect, I walk with my hands, and my hips and muscles hurt and every step is painful. I also have an incurable condition called venous insufficiency which, depending on the level of swelling in my legs, is painful either only be low the knee or sometimes including the knee and several inches up the thigh, making walking just that much more uncomfortable. If you're getting the idea that I have a lot of pain, you're on the right track. My condition has crept up and come on over a number of years, and I have learned to adapt and accommodate as best I can. I take tylenol codeine 4 because even the strongest vicodin or Norco isn't effective and my ortho says I'm probably going to have to move to oxycontin or morphine. Now that my mom passed away, I thought I would be moving directly into having my hip replacement surgery. There is a complication however in that doing one at a time will greatly compromise my rehabilitation but doing both together is not safe as my ortho tells me the mortality rate is not good for a double hip replacement. What to do, what to do? In the meantime I can explain to you that I deal with my pain and have it under control but if I do something as simple as slightly jam my tongue so into the wheel of my rollator, the pain produced is so exquisite that I burst into tears and can't get control of myself for 10 or 15 minutes. This is also true of any other small accidents that should not under normal circumstances produce the pain reaction that I have.

Please forgive me for being so long winded about this answer. Pain is very subjective and experiential. I have seen doctors and non caregiving visitors expressed the idea to a pain patient that, oh, it can't be that bad. But I take the same attitude that psychologists teach us when it comes to child molestation: if they say they've been molested, believe them. Identical for pain patients: if they say they're in pain, first of all believe them. More pain patients are telling the truth then not; they deserve sympathy and empathy and to have their complaint addressed and investigated.
I think we should assume that she's talking about pain that could more accurately be called 'discomfort' and that we can feel fairly confident is tolerable by a less compromised person.
I saw my father react as if he'd been punched when a nurse peeled a bandaid from a hairless part of his arm. When I look back, I consider his increasing intolerance to discomfort was one of the early signs of dementia.
To me, it's just one more way that dementia makes our parents more like large toddlers than adults. In fact it helps me to think of how I might respond if faced with some of the same behaviors from a child. It helps amp up my compassion. That said, it's aggravating to listen to whining whether it's coming from a 2 year-old or an 82 year-old.

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