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Preventing and Reducing Alcohol- and Other Drug-Related Harm among Older People: A practical guide for health and welfare professionals

1 December 2015


A new resource has recently been released addressing the issue of alcohol and dug use amongst older people.

The patterns and prevalence of alcohol and other drug use amongst older people is an emerging area of concern. These growing concerns stem from changes in Australia's demographic structure with increasing numbers and proportions of older people, different alcohol and drug consumption patterns of baby boomers compared to previous generations, as well as increased use of prescribed psychoactive drugs. 

Longer life expectancy and different expectations of current and future generations of older people have increased service delivery demands on the AOD and aged care sectors. However, AOD use patterns and problems among older Australians have been under-researched and are not well understood.

Responding to AOD use among older Australians requires a coordinated approach between the AOD, broader health and community services and aged care sectors. What is also required is:

  • More resources designed to assist services to cope with increasing demand
  • Improved understanding of the impact of AOD use on older people and appropriate interventions
  • Changes in health service provision within and across sectors. 

In responding to these emerging needs, NCETA, in collaboration with Peninsula Health, Victoria produced the Preventing and Reducing Alcohol- and Other Drug-Related Harm among Older People: A practical guide for health and welfare professionals to assist specialist and generalist clinicians to assess and respond to the range of AOD-related harms impacting older people. It provides guidance to:

  • Workers to help them increase their skills and knowledge in working effectively with older clients
  • Organisations to help them adapt their services to make them more accessible and inclusive to this population group. 

The resource was launched on 26 November 2015. 

Download the resource here.


More Information

Read the article 'Older Australians' drinking on the rise and they don't know the risks' published in The Conversation.

This guide forms part of NCETA’s Grey Matters research program. For more information about this program, click here.