Older Adults & Opioids
In collaboration with the Monroe County Department of Public Health and Lifespan, the Finger Lakes Geriatric Education Center (FLGEC) at the University of Rochester is directly addressing the opioid epidemic for older adults and what it means for their families. This call to action was made possible through supplemental funding received from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA). This funding opportunity will allow the FLGEC to:
- Prepare health care professionals through regional health professionals workshops on opioid training that addresses prevention, assessment, management, and treatment in older adults
- Develop outreach programs focused on opioid education for older adults and caregivers at Lifespan and at Senior Centers in Rochester, New York
- Work in tandem with the Opioid Action Plan of Monroe County to coordinate regional data collection on opioid abuse in older adults, and provide education and overdose prevention efforts.
2022 Older Adults & Opioids Webinar Series - Dueling Priorities: Opioids in the Shadow of COVID-19
In Nov. 2021, the CDC released provisional data indicating the there were an estimated 100,306 drug overdose deaths in the US during 12-month period ending in April 2021, an increase of 28.5% from the 78,056 deaths during the same period the year before. Deaths increased from synthetic opioids (primarily fentanyl), methamphetamines, cocaine, and semi-synthetic opioids (such as prescription pain medication). Older adults are included in these numbers. This VIRTUAL webinar series will examine the history of drug use, current status, and unique approaches to care of special populations.
The War on Drugs: Impacts on Elder Substance Use
- Presenter: Stewart Auyash, MPH, PhD, Associate Professor, Health Promotion and Physical Education, Ithaca College
- Wednesday, March 9, 2022, 12:00pm ET
- Policies related to the war on drugs have impacted a wide range of Americans including the elderly. The presentation will include a history of US drug policy as a prelude to the current overdose epidemic and how it affects the elderly.
Mental Health and Substance Use Among Adults with Disabilities During the COVID-19 Pandemic — United States, February–March 2021
- Presenters: Amy Board, DrPH, Health Scientist, and Benjamin Olivari, MPH, Health Scientist, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
- Thursday, April 14, 2022, 12:00pm ET
- During February–March 2021, 64.1% of surveyed U.S. adults with disabilities reported adverse mental health symptoms or substance use; past-month substance use was higher than that among adults without disabilities (40.6% versus 24.5%, respectively). This presentation will describe disparities in self-reported adverse mental health and substance use outcomes for adults with disabilities during the COVID-19 pandemic and identify key strategies that healthcare providers and community partners can take to support the mental health and substance use needs of adults with disabilities.
In Their Own Words: Older Adults and OUD. How Close Observation and Curiosity Inform my Artistic Process - and How They Might Help You, Too
- Presenter: Charmaine Wheatley, Artist in Residence, University of Rochester, Golisano Children's Hospital
- Tuesday June 9, 2022, 12:00pm, ET
- This presentation will share some of the watercolour portraits that I have created at URMC, including portraits of older adults affected by OUD. I will also describe the process by which I create these portraits and build the trust necessary for people to speak openly with me about their lives and experiences, including OUD.
Opioid Overdose Prevention - Narcan Training
- Presenter: Charlotte Crawford, RN, MSN, MBA, Consultant
- Friday, June 24, 2022, 12:00pm ET
- The opioid epidemic continues to exist, stressing the importance of early recognition of an individual experiencing an overdose. Now more than ever the importance of having Narcan readily available and the knowledge on the use of Narcan can and will save lives. This presentation will cover the Good Samaritan Law, the importance in calling 911 for all overdoses, and include a free narcan kit. Reporting the use of Narcan will provide important data to the State, which in turn can increase funding to address this issue.
Program Flyer: 2022 Older Adults & Opioids Webinar Series
Continuing Medical Education (CME)
ACCREDITATION: This activity has been planned and implemented in accordance with the accreditation requirements and policies of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) through the joint providership of the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry and Western New York Rural Area Health Education Center (WNY R-AHEC). The University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry is accredited by the ACCME to provide continuing medical education for physicians.
CERTIFICATION: The University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry designates this live activity for a maximum of 1.00 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)TM.
University of Rochester Medical Center, Center for Experiential Learning is recognized by the New York State Education Department's State Board for Social Work as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed social workers #SW-0005. This course has been approved for 1.00 contact hours. Attendance at the entire program is required.
2021 Older Adults and Opioid Webinar Series
The FLGEC partnered with the Western New York Rural Area Health Education Center (WNY R-AHEC) to host a series of online education sessions in 2021. These webinar recordings can be accessed here and/or on YouTube:
What Is Really in the Medicine Cabinet? The Unspoken Impact of Prescribing Opioids to Older Adults
- Presenter: Tisha M. Smith Ed.D, MSPP, Addiction Services Director, Monroe County Department of Public Health
- Date Recorded: Friday January 22, 2021, 12:00pm - 1:15pm ET
- This will be a discussion about the trends and fallout related to prescribing opioids in this country and why people are being prescribed the medications. We will also explore some of the unintended consequences of prescribing opioids. We will also discuss local resources for help with opioid addiction in Monroe County.
- Presenter: Erin Pownall Burns, BS, Enthusiast and Coach, Certified Peer Recovery Advocate
- Date Recorded: Friday February 26, 2021, 12:00pm - 1:15pm ET
- This session will highlight the impact of stigma on those who live with an addiction including the negative impact on health outcomes. Case examples will help participants conceptualize stigma in a tangible way.
Domestic Violence: An Epidemic Within a Pandemic
- Presenter: Lisa Nolan, Director of Prevention Education, Willow Domestic Violence Center
- Date Recorded: Tuesday March 9, 2021, 12:00pm - 1:15pm ET
- Domestic and intimate partner violence is a complex and wide reaching issue which impacts everyone in our communities. Survivors of domestic and intimate partner violence face barriers throughout the community and within the systems we work. It is critical for providers to understand what domestic and intimate partner violence actually looks like and the unique challenges facing survivors. Providers will learn how to identify some red flags, resources available to survivors and how to support someone through their journey.
Challenges Facing Older Adults Due to the Opioid Epidemic
- Presenter: M. Ann Olin, MA, CRC, CASAC, CCM, Program Manager, Geriatric Addictions Program, Lifespan of Greater Rochester
- Date Recorded: Wednesday April 21, 2021, 12:00pm - 1:15pm ET
- Older adults are facing many challenges due to the opioid epidemic, from their own addiction, to their adult children’s addiction, to not being prescribed medications when most needed. We will discuss these challenges and provide and overview of Lifespan’s Geriatric Addictions Program. We will also hear from an older adult about their experience with opioids and their journey to recovery.
Opioid Overdose Prevention - Narcan Training
- Presenter: Charlotte Crawford, RN, MSN, MBA, Chief Executive Officer, Lake Plains Community Care Network
- Date Recorded: Tuesday June 8, 2021, 12:00pm - 1:15pm ET
- The opioid epidemic continues to exist, stressing the importance of early recognition of an individual experiencing an overdose. Now more than ever the importance of having Narcan readily available and the knowledge on the use of Narcan can and will save lives. Understanding how the Good Samaritan Law will impact those administering the medication will alleviate the fear in providing care. Understanding the importance in call 911 for all overdoses, as this is frequently the individual’s first introduction to potential care for their substance use disorder. Reporting the use of Narcan will provide important data to the State, which in turn can turn into increased funding to address this issue.
2020 Older Adults and Opioids Webinar Series
The FLGEC partnered with the Western New York Rural Area Health Education Center (WNY R-AHEC) to host a series of online education sessions in early 2020. These webinar recordings can be accessed here and/or on YouTube:
An Overview of Addiction from a Medical Perspective
- Presenter: Gregory Collins, DO, MPH, Commissioner of Public Health, Wyoming County, New York
- Date Recorded: Tuesday, January 28, 2020
- The presentation discusses the history of addiction, the current opioid crisis, the Why? we become addicted from a biologic, psychologic and social perspective and current options for treatment.
Wisdom Keepers and Opioid Use – Influence of Stigma, Shame, Loneliness
- Presenter: Ednita M. Wright, PhD, LCSW, CASAC, Associate Professor, Department of Human Services, SUNY Onondaga Community College
- Date Recorded: Wednesday, February 26, 2020
- Participants will receive an overview of opioid use among Wisdom Keepers (Older Adults); reasons for abuse; the power of the use stigmatizing language, the reason that language matters; how loneliness and shame increase the use of opioids among Wisdom Keepers; and effective ways to reduce the stigma that Wisdom Keepers face which keep them from the support they need and deserve.
Biopsychosocial Approach to Pain in Older Adults
- Presenter: Paul Dougherty, DC, Adjunct Professor, New York Chiropractic College; Canandaigua VAMC
- Date Recorded: Tuesday, March 10, 2020
- This presentation will review the biopsychosocial model and how this approach is effective in addressing pain as well as the unique psychological and social comorbidities in an older population.
The Opioid Epidemic – How we have gotten to this point, its' effects on older adults, and where do we go from here?
- Presenters: Thomas Caprio, MD, MPH, MS, Professor of Medicine/Geriatrics, Dentistry, Clinical Nursing, & Public Health Sciences, Director, Finger Lakes Geriatric Education Center (UR-GWEP), University of Rochester Medical Center; Ann Olin, MA, CRC, CASAC, CCM, Program Manager, Geriatric Addictions Program, Lifespan of Greater Rochester
- Date Recorded: Thursday, May 28, 2020
- This session will review the three waves of the opioid epidemic: prescription opioids, heroin, and synthetic opioids putting into context the relative lack of knowledge concerning the needs of older adults throughout the crisis. We will examine the unique aspects of addiction and substance misuse for older adult patients/client and describe strategies to engage older adults and caregivers in reduction of harm and engagement in treatment programs.
Alternatives to Pain Medications
- Presenter: Anna Ratka, PharmD, RPh, CPE, Professor and Associate Dean of Academic Affairs, Wegmans School of Pharmacy, St. John Fisher College
- Date: Thursday June 18, 2020
- Management of pain without medication provides patients with an effective option for relief of pain. The non-pharmacological therapies aim to treat the behavioral, affective, cognitive, and other non-somatic dimensions of the pain. The rationale behind using alternatives to pain medications will be presented in context of pain complexity. Several tools and methods used as alternatives to pain medications will be reviewed. Contributions of the non-pharmacological therapies to management of pain will be discussed in terms of holistic care of pain patients.
This project is sponsored by the Finger Lakes Geriatric Education Center funded by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) under the Geriatric Workforce Enhancement Program # U1QHP28738. This information or content and conclusions are those of the authors/speakers and should not be construed as the official position or policy of, nor should any endorsements be inferred by HRSA, DHHS, or the U.S. Government.