Pain in older age is very common and many older people feel that it is a normal part of ageing. Yet it is not. In fact, living with pain can cause an older person more health and social problems as they try to compensate for their pain, or reduce their involvement in outside activities as a result of their pain. Persistent pain in older people needs to be investigated and treated to ensure quality of life.
This problem is worse if the older person has lost their ability to communicate effectively. For example, as a result of a stroke or dementia. Many negative behaviours exhibited by people who cannot communicate effectively are a direct result of unmanaged pain.
Any pain should be reported to your GP or specialist to allow them to undertake a pain assessment. An assessment may involve providing a history of pain, and describing the location, frequency, duration and severity of the pain, to help determine both the cause and potential pain management techniques.
Pain management may include such things as medication, exercise, rest or the use of specialised aids and equipment.
NSW Health provides a range of information on chronic pain, including fact sheets.