New “One-Stop Shop” to Improve Aged Care Pain Management

A revised and expanded book and additional resources for pain management in residential aged care homes promises to be a “one-stop shop” to help improve care and minimise pain among residents.

The publication of the 2nd edition of Pain in Residential Aged Care Facilities: Management Strategies will help Australia’s aged care workforce to identify, assess and manage pain felt by people in their care.
“This is about making a real difference to the daily quality of life of tens of thousands of senior Australians,” said Aged Care Minister Ken Wyatt AM.
“I commend the Australian Pain Society and the dozen dedicated co-authors of this critical resource.
“Australia has around 2,700 residential aged care homes, caring for up to 240,000 people a year. It is estimated that as many as 80 per cent of people in care experience pain of some kind.”
The Liberal National Government is committed to driving aged care improvements by encouraging innovation and excellence in residential facilities and home-based care.
The newly established Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission has used this document to develop its guidance material to support Australia’s new Aged Care Quality Standards relating to personal, clinical and palliative care.
“Access to high-quality pain management is a human right,” said Minister Wyatt.
“Many aged care residents also have dementia and may have difficulty communicating their pain, which can lead to the risk of under-treatment.
“Working with organisations like the Australian Pain Society, the Government is building a system that gives senior Australians better quality of care, better access to care and more choices for longer, better lives.”
Fiona Hodson, President of the Australian Pain Society and co-author, said the second edition – the first update since the 2005 original – was more user friendly and included new supporting resources.
“This is a one-stop shop for pain management and information for residents, clinicians and carers,” said Ms Hodson.
“It highlights resident-centred care, while acknowledging families as key partners in care.
“Best-practice pain management is important, as pain affects both quality of life and physical function.”
The Department of Health is assisting with promotion of the new pain resource and is also considering a funding request to support its distribution and update the Pain Management Guidelines Kit for Aged Care.
The Liberal National Government has a record commitment to aged care, with a $5 billion funding boost over the next four years.
/Public Release.