When dealing with an aging population, one has to recognize that pain is so common place, and that it makes day to day life difficult. Pain and discomfort can present limitations of functional ability and interfere with quality of life. Even with patients that aren't old or impaired, chronic pain causes a host of related problems, not the least of which is depression.
Pain can cause many problems, such as sensory experience and psychological distress. For patients with dementia, stroke and Parkinson's, the ability to express pain or discomfort is difficult or impossible. It is important to be aware of non-verbal communication, as this may be the only way that these people can express their pain. It is through this, that the most vulnerable members of our society can be cared for. Providing appropriate pain management assures the dignity and well being of a patient, as well as affording a better quality of life.
When pain is properly managed, a patient can not only gain back some or all control of his life and day to day activities, it allows one to communicate in a more effective manner. Independence is crucial to people, and in the long run, lessens the cost of health care.