Identifying and Addressing Pain in Older Adults (2 CEU’s)

· August 22, 2014
  • Pain is a common problem for older adults, and is prevalent, especially among frail older adults. 
  • 70-80% of nursing home residents have significant pain.
  • Patients with dementia have especially high rates of untreated pain.
  • Pain has a substantial impact on health and well-being.  


The Pain Modules will provide you with information on identifying and addressing pain in your residents. These modules will help you to understand the different types of pain, how to assess for pain whether the resident can or cannot tell you about their pain, and how you can best care for residents who are experiencing pain


At the end of this program, the Nurse Assistant will be able to:

  • Understand your role in caring for older adults in pain when cognition is either intact or impaired.
  • Understand common misconceptions older adults and staff make in thinking about pain.
  • Understand a range of strategies to assess, recognize, and report pain.
  • Understand non-drug, drug, and adjunct therapy.


Module 1 – “Identifying Pain in Your Residents” provides you with an overview of what pain is and how to recognize it in older adults. Since some older adults in nursing facilities are unable to verbally communicate their pain and discomfort, this module covers both the verbal and nonverbal indicators of pain. The module also provides information about what needs to be known about pain to effectively manage it.

Module 2 – “What You Can Do to Help a Resident Who is Experiencing Pain” discusses the non-drug approaches to pain that can be administered by direct care staff. In some cases, these strategies can be effective alone, but often they are used in conjunction with medication to increase their effectiveness in the relief of pain. This module covers when and how to apply the different strategies, as well as the precautions needing to be taken with specific therapies.

Resources The SCAN Foundation.


Instructions for taking the course

To complete the course successfully, you must go through all the lessons below. You MUST mark each lesson as complete by clicking the MARK COMPLETE BUTTON. If you do not click the mark complete button, you will not be allowed to proceed to the next lesson. Please notice that all lessons have a minimum set amount of time that you are expected to spend on each lesson. You will not be allowed to Mark the Lesson Complete until the timer resets to zero; that is, until the minimum time set for the course has passed. For example, if lesson A has an allocated minimum time of 10 minutes, you will have to wait 10 minutes before you can mark Lesson A complete. The Mark Complete button for lesson A will be grayed out and will not become active until 10 minutes are over.

WARNING: If you forget to click the Mark Complete button done, you will be prompted to go back to that lesson again and have to wait till the allocated timed minutes resets to zero again before the Mark Complete button becomes active. After all lessons are completed and they are Marked Completed, you will then be allowed to take the post-test. If you successfully pass the quiz, you will earn CEUs for this course and you can proceed to print out your certificate.


Not Enrolled

Course Includes

  • 1 Lesson
  • 2 Lessons
  • 1 Quiz
  • Course Certificate