Pain is highlighted as a significant, yet neglected problem among older people, particularly in long-term care settings. The effects of inadequate assessment and treatment of pain among older people may lead to multiple problems. Problems arise due to cognitive impairment of clients and inadequate assessment by healthcare professionals. Analgesics are under-used and there is a need for improved education of both healthcare professionals and older people regarding attitudes. to pain and ageing. Research is needed into the prevalence of pain among older people in United Kingdom (UK) care homes, how best to further educate healthcace professionals regarding pain management and how to enable older people to be facilitative partners in this process. (C) 2003 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.