Well Being

If someone can’t talk – how do they tell you they have pain?

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The list is lengthy – the list of people who can't tell you where the pain is, how bad it is, or even if they have it. We think of the elderly who have diseases like Alzheimer's as one group, but there are also those who have had strokes and can no longer communicate, developmentally delayed people, young children, even people who can't speak to you in a language that you can understand.

So, if you love or take care of someone who can't communicate – how do you tell if he or she has pain?

You need to be observant and pick up on body and nonverbal cues; some are obvious, others may not be.

Changes in behavior or demeanor: Does the person seem more agitated or aggressive than usual? Or the opposite – is he quieter and trying to move less than usual? Is she moving repetitively, like rocking back and forth? Is he pacing when he usually doesn't? Is she newly refusing to do things?

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Tags: chronic pain blog, pain blog, elderly and pain, developmentally delayed and pain, determining pain, how to tell if there's pain