As part of NCETA’s on-going program of work related to AOD issues among older people, the Centre partnered with Middlesex University (UK) and Matua Raki (NZ) to deliver a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) – Falling Down: Problematic Substance Misuse in Later Life.

The five-week course commenced on 30 October 2017, and brought together information that could be used by both the AOD and ageing sectors. More than 500 learners from around the world registered for the course. They were also invited to participate in the development of an online community of practice to share their ideas, experiences and practice.

During the course, learners were provided with:

 An introduction to problematic AOD use among older including context, causes and recognition


  • Opportunities to share evidence of what works with a focus on Preventing and Reducing Alcohol- and Other Drug-Related Harm among Older People: A practical guide for health and welfare professionals developed by NCETA in collaboration with Peninsula Health Victoria. Learners were encouraged to download copies of the guide from NCETA’s website
  • Examples of effective interventions and best practice in responding to older people with AOD issues and strategies for improving their health and wellbeing
  • An invitation to participate in a community of practice and engage in networking with local, national and international colleagues.


In week 3, course educators from the UK (Professor Carmel Clancy and Professor Betsy Thom, Middlesex University), Australia (Allan Trifonoff and Keith Evans, NCETA) and New Zealand (Anna Nelson, Matua Raki) produced a webinar examining the impact of AOD use in older people from the policy, practice and research perspectives. The webinar recording is available on NCETA You Tube Channel.


There are plans to run the MOOC again in May 2018. If you are interested in participating in the MOOC next year, please register your interest with Future Learn