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Will you still assess me, Will you still treat me (age-appropriately) when I'm 64?

Format Workshop
Presenters Professor John C. Beck, Professor Arlene Fink, Stephen Bright, Katherine Walsh, & Simon Ruth
Description Background: Australia's population is ageing exponentially. Older Australians are more likely than any other age group to drink on a daily basis. They are more likely to be taking multiple medications, have numerous medical co-morbidities, be social isolated and more likely to be admitted to hospital.

Changes in their physiology, self-identity and role transitions place older adults at increased risk of developing Alcohol and Other Drug (AOD) issues, yet they are proportionally under-represented with in AOD treatment services.

While the sector has improved its responses to dual diagnosis, young people, ATSI and CALD communities, there has been little done to address the needs of older adults with AOD issues or to prevent older adults from developing AOD-related issues. Older adult AOD use patterns differ from younger peoples and their goals in treatment differ in accordance with t heir life stage.

Aim: The aim of this workshop is to provide participants with an understanding of how AOD-related issues among older adults are different to those experienced by other populations. Through focusing on screening, early intervention, assessment, differences in treatment and contemporary international research, we aim to improve the capacity of participants to work with AOD-related issues among older adults.

Content: Participants will be provided with an understanding of the issues that must be considered when working with older adults who use AOD. For example, there are not Australian guidelines for alcohol use for older adults, since individual factors such as medication use and medical comorbidities need to be considered (Bright, Walsh & Singh, 2012). Unlike younger populations, gender plays a more important role in mitigating risk of alcohol-related harm (Mclaughlin et al., 2011).

Older adult-specific assessment and screening will be discussed. In particular, the Alcohol-Related Problems Survey (ARPS) will be used as a model for developing older adult specific drinking guidelines and early intervention (Fink, et al., 2002; Fink, et al., 2005). Prevention is an important consideration among this population since up to 33% of older adults who experience AOD-related problems do not develop these problems until later on in life (Liberto et al., 1993). Though the provision of early intervention these problems can be prevented (Bright, 2011}.

Finally, an overview of an older adult-specific AOD service will be presented, alongside the learnings from developing and implementing this service. For example, the role of stigma has been a significant barrier to engagement, which led to the service's name being non-ADO-specific: the Older Wiser Lifestyles Program (OWL) at Peninsula Health. Service provision needs to be slower paced, with a focus on meaning/purpose, social inclusion, and role transitions.
About the presenter(s) John Beck is a physician with expertise in gerontology. He was Chairman of the Department of Medicine at McGill University until 1974 when he became the first Director of the National Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholar Program and a Professor of Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco. He is a former member of the Council of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, the Medical Research Council of Canada, a former Chairman of the American Board of Internal Medicine, and past President of the American Board of Medical Specialties. He moved to Los Angeles on sabbatical leave at the RAND Corporation in 1978, engaged in a policy analysis on geriatric manpower, and in July of 1979, became the founder and first Director of the UCLA Multi campus Program in Geriatric Medicine and Gerontology as well as Professor of Medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles. ln 1993, he became the Emeritus Director and Professor of Medicine.

Arlene Fink is an adjunct Professor of Medicine and Public Health at UCLA. She has been part of a group of researchers at RAND and UCLA who have developed and validated the only available screening and education system for to detect hazardous and harmful drinking among older adults. Arlene has over 120 articles and 13 books on program evaluation, effectiveness research and research design and methods.
Location VIC Metro, Australia
Venue Melbourne Convention Centre
1 Convention Centre Pl, Melbourne

Please contact the event organiser to confirm if this venue is wheelchair accessible
Start/End Date 18 Nov 2012
Time 2pm - 5:30pm
Cost $80
Organiser Peninsula Health in partnership with the Australasian Professional Society for Alcohol and other Drugs (APSAD)
Contact Name Stephen Bright
Telephone 03 9784 7108
APSAD flyer v2.doc [96.0 KB]