1st June has seen the start of an exciting new Community based Programme in Cwm Taf.
Drink Wise Age Well is a pioneering alcohol awareness and support programme for the over 50’s in Cwm Taf.
Through meaningful community engagement and effective partnership working the Programme will promote a sensible relationship with alcohol for older adults. Drink Wise Age Well will also look to prevent dependency and alcohol related problems in those aged 50+ and work with other professionals to better support this age group.
Did you know:
- Up to 20% of the UK’s over 50 population are drinking above the recommended guidelines – that’s 4.5million people.
- Alcohol related hospital admissions have vastly increased in the over 65’s in the last decade
- The biggest increase in alcohol related harm in recent years has occurred in the over 50’s
- The recommended guidelines for those aged 65+ is considerably less than younger adults
The Drink Wise Age Well programme aims to challenge stigma and reduce alcohol related harm through working with individuals, families, carers and the wider community. It is a 5 year Big Lottery funded programme designed to address alcohol misuse among people over 50 with Cwm Taf selected as one of five delivery areas across the UK.
There is a lack of knowledge and understanding about the over 50 population, alcohol use in this age group and associated health risks, leading to health and social care professionals being less likely to recognise, treat or signpost those in need.
Why the over 50’s.
Even a small amount of alcohol can lead to health problems, for example, older people are particularly sensitive to the toxic effects alcohol has on the brain. As the population lives longer, health problems increase, alcohol use can increase the risk of ill health or hide symptoms, especially if someone is frail or taking medication.
Research has shown that social isolation or various life transitions such as retirement and bereavement can be a key trigger to increased drinking. Those aged 50 and over are more likely to drink at home alone, hide harmful drinking, be unaware of alcohol guidelines, risks and where to access help and support.
Drink Wise Age Well will target these issues across 4 core work streams: –
Educating, delivering workshops, public information stands at community venues to bring awareness and knowledge of alcohol harm and promote health and wellbeing. Engaging with major employers and community groups.
- Direct Engagement and Support
Providing 1-1 therapeutic support working with individuals and their families around alcohol misuse. Reducing harmful and hazardous drinking as well as working with dependent drinkers and complex cases. Co-facilitating peers support groups and delivering appropriate group work.
Deliver 1-1 support and a bespoke resilience programme consisting of shared activities, skills development including life skills and relapse prevention and support workshops. Develop a volunteer programme to enhance community engagement and to provide a befriending service.
- Skills and Development
Deliver learning and skills development workshops and continuous professional development for peers, volunteers, frontline staff and health and social care practitioners to enhance their knowledge and improved practice.
Alongside this the Drink Wise Age Well Programme will deliver a peer education project for over 50’s to improve understanding of what safer drinking means in later life and will also recruit an army of volunteers to engage local communities. The ethos of the Programme is very much based on the principles of co-production.
The Programme is also subject to some comprehensive research being lead by the University of Bedfordshire and GlyndwrUniversity.
The Locality Manager for Drink Wise Age Well in Cwm Taf is Richard Broadway from Drugaid and along with TEDS, Kaleidoscope, WCADA and The Royal Voluntary Service these 5 partner organisations are responsible for local service delivery. You can contact Richard directly at Richard.firstname.lastname@example.org or on 07768926287.
The Programme is accessible to anybody living in Rhondda Cynon Taff or Merthyr whether they are affected by alcohol use themselves or are a concerned other/ carer or a professional.
For information, to get involved or to access all aspects of the Programme please call us on 0800 161 5780. Individuals requiring Direct Engagement and Support from Drink Wise Age Well will be processed by DASPA, Cwm Taf single point of access for substance misuse.
Drink Wise Age Well plan a week of launches week beginning 29th June, one each day at venues in Taff, Cynon, Rhondda Fach, Rhondda Fawr and Merthyr and would like to extend a welcome to everyone (dates and location to follow).
As the Programme is new we are in the process of setting up social media and website content.