One of the main current challenges support services experience is supporting an ageing population who use alcohol and other drugs. The course will explore the health needs of an ageing cohort learning from recent research and trends with this population including the Glasgow HIV outbreak. It will discuss the reasons why older individuals tend not to engage with mainstream services, explore where else in the system the workforce can engage with an ageing cohort and discuss strategies that have been piloted in Scotland for this population such as assertive outreach.
These courses are aimed primarily at frontline staff and managers of frontline services, however they are also relevant to service which support people who use substances, such as housing and homelessness services.
By the end of the session participants will be able to:
- Identify the physical, mental and social issues experienced by older people with drug problems.
- Describe current trends and common patterns of use among older people with drug problems, including poly substance use.
- Recall the impact of problem substance use and the process of ageing and the implications for individuals and services.
- Identify barriers to access and appropriate treatment pathways for older people with drug problems.
- Challenge stigmatising attitudes and practices that affect older people with drug problems.
- Identify effective techniques to engage older people with drug problems in services.
- Create an effective support and risk management plan.