Concerns raised for nursing home residents living in "chronic pain"

Negligence could be causing nursing home residents unnecessary suffering

30.03.2007

Research commissioned by the Picker Institute Europe for the Patients' Association has revealed that many elderly people living in nursing homes are in chronic pain.

77 people living in 24 nursing homes in England were questioned for the research. Almost 40% of them said that they experienced constant pain. The majority said that a doctor or nurse had never talked to them about how their pain could be relieved, and 8% described their pain as excruciating.

The report says: "Chronic pain is widespread amongst the residents of care homes. This leads both staff and residents to accept pain as an inevitable consequence of growing old.

Sarah Rowland, an Associate Solicitor at Irwin Mitchell who specialises in elderly neglect cases said: The report shows the unnecessary suffering that many residents of nursing homes are going through. It is clear that insufficient time is being taken to talk to residents about their pain levels, and to help them with pain relief. Pain should not simply be accepted as an inevitable part of growing old. Sadly, I act for many clients who have not been given the appropriate standards of care and treatment in nursing homes.

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