Pain management in the elderly is a challenging and rewarding endeavor. The challenges include liver and kidney dysfunction changing drug dosing and toxicity, altered pain perception, the need to individualize pain assessment tools, and the frequent superimposition of depression and altered cognition on painful states. However, pain management tools that are validated in special needs populations exist, and evidence-based pain management strategies tailored to the older adult are now available. Perhaps the greatest challenge is the education of clinicians on the need to adjust our approach to pain management in this special population.
Aging Health. 2011;7(6):813-828. © 2011 Future Medicine Ltd.