Older Adults_Bars-Geriatric Pain

FAST FACTS: One Minute Pain Assessment

Did you know that, in about one minute, you can gather information from your family member who may be experiencing pain to share with their provider?

Pain 101

Pain control is best achieved through good assessment, and you can provide key information to your healthcare provider. The following assessment may be completed in about 1 minute and quickly identifies older adults who may be experiencing pain regardless of mental or verbal ability.

What Can You Do? 

  • Ask Yourself 3 Pain Questions
    • Do I have any aches or pains today?
    • Can I describe my pain, aches, soreness, or discomfort?
    • Would I say my pain was mild, moderate, or severe?

  • Watch For and Report Any of the Following
    • Facial Expressions
      • Grimacing or frowning
      • Raised upper lip
    • Verbal Expressions
      • Using pain related words
      • Sighing
      • Complaining
      • Shouting
      • Groaning
  • Other possible indicators
      • Agitation
      • Sleep disturbance
      • Diminished appetite
      • Irritability
      • Reclusiveness
      • Disruptive behavior

What Else You Should Do

  • Write down and share information about your pain with your healthcare provider
  • Use a Pain Diary to note important information useful to the healthcare provider
  • Gathering this information daily can help recognize when your pain gets better or worse


  1. Kunz et al. Euro J Pain 2019; 24(1): 192-208; Ersek et al (2019). Pain Medicine 2019; 20(6): 1093–1104.

Revised January 2022

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