How do we better understand when and where our loved ones feel pain if they can no longer express it in a way we understand?
Caring.com published an article, Dementia and Pain: How to Assess When Someone Hurts and Needs Help, that answers this multi-faceted question.
Reading the article helped me to uncover memories of trying to better understand my father’s pain when he could no longer express it clearly. At the same time, I wonder, How different is knowing my father’s pain than guessing the pain felt by a beloved family pet? And how can I better assess our last of four geriatric cat’s demands?
Meow ME-ow MEE-OW!
The tips in the Dementia and Pain: How to Assess When Someone Hurts and Needs Help, article not only applies to our loved ones with dementia, but also to our beloved animals. Read the article (click on link above) before continuing.
PLEASE DON’T LAUGH or JUDGE…
This is a powerful article, not only for loved ones with dementia and other cognitive-impairing illnesses, but also for our BELOVED ANIMALS.
For 7+ years after caring for my late father with Alzheimer’s, my husband and I have been caring for a cat with FIV (Feline Aids Virus). Early last year, during a blood test prior to getting his teeth cleaned, the veterinarian found his liver values to be out of whack. This started a six-month regimen of natural treatments that didn’t resolve the issue.
DON’T LAUGH…there’s something to be learned from an animal that can’t communicate; just likd my father not being able to express pain while bleeding after one of his molars was removed.
Our orange tabby went in for more tests–ultrasound and biopsy. Late last year, we learned he has LYMPHOMA in his spleen.
Although several vets have assured us that cats respond remarkably well to chemo, given the poor condition of our kitty’s teeth and his difficulty chewing, plus a weakened immune system, we decided against chemo. We decided to provide him palliative care, instead.
The vet (and we) thought he would be with us until January, at the latest.
Eight months later and he’s still with us!
Although, he experiences pain, it’s hard to tell when or where. Sometimes he purrs; the next moment he meows and even bites gently.
The tips in the Caring.com article are easily applied to our loved ones. These tips can also help us to become animal whisperers–to better understand what our beloved animals are experiencing.
Meanwhile, my husband, is losing sleep when the cat wakes him to eat at 2:30, 3:00, 3:30, or 4:00 every morning. Our kitty was satisfied with two meals a day. No more. Now it’s five feedings daily.
Do our loved ones experience pain? Yes.
It’s up to us to follow the helpful tips in the linked Dementia and Pain article in order to better identify their pain.