COTA Victoria is supporting the Eastern Health Turning Point’s OP-ALMA project based in the Yarra Ranges, that seeks to reduce the use of pain medication in older adults by increasing their social connections.
COTA’s policy volunteers and peer educators have been providing ongoing feedback to the project as it progresses through its milestones, including the language used in resources and the approach is taken to engage with older people.
The project is ready for its next trial phase, with the OP-ALMA inviting individuals who meet the following criteria to take part:
- must be aged 65 years or more;
- experience chronic pain;
- currently prescribed opioid-based medication; and
- live in the Yarra Ranges Shire.
OP-ALMA is also seeking participation from health practitioners such as GPs, psychologists, physiotherapists and occupational therapists who work with older adults living with chronic pain in the Yarra Ranges Shire.
Turning Point is working from the basis of research that shows increasing social connection is a key ingredient to improving quality of life for people over the age of 65 years who have chronic pain.
By working closely with participants and their health practitioners, the OP-ALMA team will support the development of an individualised, meaningful plan to increase connections with others. This will involve exploring the current activities participants are involved in and identifying options to get linked in with other areas of interest. In response to the COVID-19 restrictions, the OP-ALMA program will focus on increasing the confidence of participants to use technology to connect with online supports.
Participants who take part in the four-month program will receive:
- the loan of a tablet device and help to get connected online;
- a social mapping assessment and development of a social connection plan; and
- regular one-on-one phone calls from the OP-ALMA team to support connection to online activities.
If you would like more information, please call 8413 8444 and ask to speak to the OP-ALMA team, or email them: firstname.lastname@example.org
To know more about COTA Victoria’s involvement please email COTA’s engagement & advocacy officer Amanda Kunkler: email@example.com or call 03 9655 2105.