Patricia a family member caring for her Dad Robert

“Comfort in knowing my dad isn’t suffering in silence”

Robert* has been living in a care home for around five years. He has vascular dementia, which was managed at home until his condition progressed to a point where he was having regular falls around the house and his confusion and disorientation became a cause of frustration for him. At this stage, his daughter Patricia and her family decided it was time for her father to be in a residential care setting with access to nursing care.

Over the course of several months, Robert began to lose his ability to reliably verbally communicate. Naturally, this was a difficult change for Patricia and her family to come to terms with.

“When Dad started to lose his ability to communicate effectively, it was a really challenging time for us as a family,” she says. “However, my main priority was that he would continue to receive the right care, including access to effective pain management. I quickly raised this subject with the home manager, who introduced me to their pain assessment tool, PainChek®.”

“As someone who doesn’t work in health or care, I hadn’t heard of PainChek® but was instantly put at ease knowing there it was a reliable way for carers to identify when Dad is in pain.”

“During the transition period from living at home to moving into the care home, Dad had fallen a few times. Through regular pain assessments, we learnt that Dad was in pain and this was increasing his risk of falling. Since this had been observed, he was prescribed regular pain relief and as a result, his comfort has increased rapidly and he is no longer having regular falls.”

What is PainChek®?

PainChek® is a point-of-care pain assessment tool for care teams to quickly identify when someone is in pain whether or not they can self-report, and quantify the severity of pain to guide appropriate pain relief. PainChek®’s smartphone-based app uses the device’s camera and AI to identify micro-facial expressions that indicate pain. It also walks the user through five other areas of pain indicators to provide an accurate and objective pain score.

More recently, Robert has been experiencing behavioural and psychological symptoms of dementia (BPSD). When Patricia first observed this while visiting her father, she was distressed in believing he was still in pain. However, his care team was able to quickly assess him using PainChek® and uncover that he was not in fact in pain. As such, Patricia and the care team have been able to identify alternative techniques to reduce Robert’s behavioural symptoms, such as music therapy.


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