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Pain Assessment in Cognitively Impaired Older Adults

Use the following tools to screen for pain in older adults who have dementia or other cognitive impairment with a limited ability to communicate.

General Guidelines for Pain Assessment in Older Adults with Cognitive Impairment - List of recommendations for completing a pain assessment for older adults with cognitive impairments. 

Pain Assessment in Advanced Dementia (PAINAD) - Pain assessment tool used to assess pain in older adults who have dementia or other cognitive impairment and are unable to reliably communicate their pain. 

  • PAINAD Instructions - How to use the PAINAD tool
  • PAINAD Tool - Can be printed on card stock (front to back) and laminated for use as pocket-sized pain assessment tool.

Pain Assessment Checklist for Seniors with Limited Ability to Communicate (PACSLAC) - Checklist to screen for pain in older adults who have dementia or other cognitive impairment with a limited ability to communicate.

Pain Assessment Checklist for Seniors with Limited Ability to Communicate (PACSLAC-II) - Revised PACSLAC with fewer items on a checklist to screen for pain in older adults who have dementia or other cognitive impairment resulting in a limited ability to communicate.

Comprehensive Pain Assessment Form (Cognitively Impaired)

Detecting Discomfort Video - Educational video designed to teach nursing assistants to identify the behaviors that cognitively impaired older adults may show when they are in pain or discomfort, and to understand the ways they can help cognitively impaired older adults get relief of their pain or discomfort $24.00).

How to Try This  Video: Pain Assessment in Older Adults - Details about a FREE 1-hour video that contains content on assessment of both cognitively intact and cognitively impaired older adults and relevant for the nursing home population.

Analgesic Trial for Suspected Pain in Older Adults with Cognitive Impairment - Description of how to complete an analgesic trial for suspected pain in older adults with cognitive impairments