Aileen Williams at RAAFA 2

John* is a 90-year-old care home resident living in Staffordshire, England. John has been a resident at the care home for over a year now and the staff are committed to ensuring he leads a fulfilling life, preserving as many of his hobbies as possible.

John lives with mild dementia, and it is very important for him to maintain a regular schedule of activities between family visits. Like many other people living with dementia, John also suffers from osteoarthritis-related pain. Due to his cognitive limitations, John is sometimes not able to self-report his pain, and without appropriate treatment can become withdrawn from his regular activities.

Having been a gardener in his younger years, one of the activities John enjoys most is maintaining the raised flower beds in the care home’s garden. But pain can get in the way of that.

“Gardening is a huge contributor to John’s quality of life,” says John’s carer. “He loves being in the garden and changing the flower beds as the season’s change. He will share stories and anecdotes as he does it. You can really sense the pleasure he gets from it”.

“However, we have had challenges identifying when he is in pain with his arthritis as he’s not always forthcoming with us, even if he is prompted.”

“It’s important for us to be able to identify when John is in discomfort even if he won’t tell us, so we can proactively manage his pain and ensure he can continue to get enjoyment from his daily activities.”

Getting ahead of the pain

To support John and the other residents, the care home team came together to discuss their options for improving their pain assessment processes. They identified PainChek®’s digital pain assessment solution, which has since become a supportive tool for the team to be able to objectively assess indicators of pain, regardless of their residents’ ability to self-report their pain.


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