COVID-19 Vaccination and Dementia
During the unrolling of COVID-19 vaccination programs across Canada, it was a pleasure to collaborate with the Canadian Institute of Health Information (CIHI) in the development of guidelines on ways of improving the COVID-19 vaccination experience (including evaluation of vaccination pain) in older adults with dementia. This work was part of a broader initiative on COVID-19 vaccination pain, coordinated by CIHI, and includes separate guidelines for children and as well as adults.
When administering the COVID 19 vaccine in older adults with cognitive impairments, it is especially important to take steps to promote a positive vaccination experience (that reduces the chance of pain and anxiety). It is also important to recognize nonverbal signs of pain and distress. Improving comfort and minimizing pain during the vaccination of people with cognitive impairments will reduce the chance of negative reactions (e.g., agitation). Such reactions are not only upsetting for the person being vaccinated but can also make the vaccination process more difficult for the health care worker administering the vaccine. Our guidelines, directed in the first instance to long-term care staff, can be found here https://www.seepainmoreclearly.org/covid-vaccinations-resources in both English and French.
- Thomas Hadjistavropoulos, Ph.D., FCAHS
How You Can Help? Would you like to share your thoughts on our See Pain More Clearly initiative and the use of social media to mobilize knowledge about pain in dementia?
We are looking for policymakers, researchers, healthcare workers and family caregivers to participate in a study to evaluate the effectiveness of the #SeePainMoreClearly social media initiative to mobilize knowledge about pain in dementia.