Pain and Distress

Part of Wellbeing for Life series

Everyone experiences pain, but how they communicate their pain is different.

People with a learning disability may be unable to:

  • recognise their pain
  • describe their pain
  • tell others about their pain
  • say where the pain is

This is very different to saying they do not experience pain or have a high pain threshold.

Contents of this mini book:

  • What is pain?
  • What is distress?
  • Busting the myths
  • Looking at pain in more detail
  • Case study example – meet Michael
  • The different types of pain:
  • Pain in people with dementia and learning disability:
  • How do people communicate pain and distress when they are unable to tell you directly?
  • Looking at pain in more detail
  • Using the MacIntyre person-centred thinking tools
  • MacIntyre communication charts
  • The MacIntyre pain and distress assessment tool
  • Using ‘important to’ and ‘important for’
  • Learning logs
  • Learning logs example
  • The pain cycle
  • What can you do to help someone manage their pain or distress?
  • Supporting the person

Are we making a difference?

We would love to hear if and how our resources are helping you support people with learning disabilities and with dementia or various other health needs.

Would you like to sign up to our monthly Health, Dementia and Wellbeing newsletter? We will notify you about new resources and keep you up to date with our work in that field.