If you work with older adults, you quickly realize they are not simply 35 year olds with grey hair, and not all older adults are alike. But even if people begin from that understanding, they often wonder, "What are the relevant differences?", and "How does that affect the work I do?"
For example, consider:
What are good, proven ways of reaching and working with older adults around alcohol issues, given that they can and do experience many differences compared to younger adults?
How do we best recognize the many generational, social, cultural and physiological differences that affect whether, how and when alcohol becomes a problem in seniors' lives.
How do we develop good approaches in our own community to meet older adults' needs in this area?
How do we know what those needs are?
Seeking Solutions has developed a series of best practices sheets on key topics related to reaching and helping seniors around alcohol issues. They offer practical ideas on how to better understand and meet this groups' needs.
What are Best Practices?
Basically, they are strategies that have been proven to be effective for older adults. The best practices sheets reflect
"expert opinion" (years of clinical experience plus trial and error by Canadian agencies and communities, learning what works and doesn't work);
a critical analysis of the seniors' addiction literature, combined with
a review of gerontological literature on the related issues affecting seniors (e.g., mental health, cognitive impairment), and
what seniors who have been dealing with alcohol problems in their lives say makes the most sense for them.
These sheets are being developed in series of threes. The first series includes:
Other topics include "Identification", "Elder Abuse", "Alcohol Withdrawal", "Working with Long Term Users", "Working with Family" and several others.
They can be used in workshops, community development, in your own work, and many, many other ways.
To receive the Best Practices sheets, contact:
Charmaine Spencer, Project Coordinator, Seeking Solutions
Gerontology Research Centre
Simon Fraser University
2800-515 West Hastings Street
Fax: 1- 604-291-5066
A Role for Everyone
Alcohol and other substance use issues do not only "belong to" addiction specialists. Many different community members, government bodies, and private organizations have important roles in reducing the likelihood of alcohol problems developing in later life and in appropriately helping if a problem does occur.
Stages of Change: Where Is Your Community?
A. Seniors' Involvement in Community Development
Engaging Peers & Volunteers
How to Successfully Approach Seniors' Centres
Roles for Seniors in Recovery
B. Professionals' and Key Service Providers' Involvement
How Pharmacists Can Help on Seniors' Alcohol Issues
What Home Support Workers Want and Need To Know
How Not to Alienate Existing Helpers
Alcohol Issues for Seniors in Rental Housing (Working with Building Managers)
Addressing Alcohol Issues In Personal Care Homes, Nursing Homes and Care Facilities
Successful Strategies for Working with Physicians and in Hospitals
How to Ask the Right Question of Seniors at the Right Time (non-addictions workers)
How Culture Colours the Alcohol Issue Alcohol Issues Among Seniors in Native Communities
Special Issues For Older Women
Working With Rural Seniors on Alcohol Issues
Getting There is a Key (Meeting Transportation Needs)
Best Practices in Counselling and Support
Over the course of the Seeking Solution project, many topics were suggested to us, and we will be gradually adding information on these topics to the website:
Grief and Alcohol
10 Common Practice Misconceptions Around Seniors and Alcohol
Seniors, Chronic Pain and Alcohol
Working Well With Family Physicians
Working Successfully With Families & Couples
Helping Seniors Who Are Homeless Or Facing Eviction
Don’t Lose Sleep About It (Sleep Disorders and Alcohol)
Helping Seniors Who Are Also HIV Positive
Home Detoxification and Withdrawal Management Possibilities
When There Is Not One Problem, But Two (Medications And Alcohol)
Older Adult’s Mental Health and Alcohol Misuse (Depression, Alzheimer’s Disease)
Dealing with Loneliness and Isolation
The Connection Between Elder Abuse and Alcohol Issues
Can Professionals Be “Enablers”? What Is and Isn't Enabling?
Effective Case Management Strategies
Tools and Strategies for Screening and Assessment
Creating Successful Support Groups
Page last updated
Monday July 05, 2004 Questions? Comments? Contact Webmaster:
Page last updated Monday July 05, 2004
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