• Accessibility and suitability of residential alcohol treatment for older adults

      Wadd, Sarah; Dutton, Maureen; Alcohol Research UK; University of Bedfordshire (Alcohol Research UK, 2017-11-20)
      This study sought to find out:- 1.       To what extent do residential alcohol rehabs have upper age thresholds? 2.       Are the needs of older adults different from those of younger adults in alcohol rehab? 3.       What are older adults’ experiences of alcohol rehab?
    • Accessibility and suitability of residential alcohol treatment for older adults: a mixed method study

      Wadd, Sarah; Dutton, Maureen; University of Bedfordshire (BMC, 2018-12-13)
      Background Whilst alcohol misuse is decreasing amongst younger adults in many countries, it is increasing in older adults. Residential rehabilitation (rehab) is a vital component of the alcohol treatment system, particularly for those with relatively complex needs and entrenched alcohol problems. In this study, we sought to find out to what extent rehabs in England have upper age limits that exclude older adults, whether rehabs are responsive to older adults’ age-related needs and how older adults experience these services. Method This is a mixed method study. A search was carried out of Public Health England’s online directory of rehabs to identify upper age thresholds. Semi-structured qualitative interviews were carried out with 16 individuals who had attended one of five residential rehabs in England and Wales since their 50th birthday. A researcher with experience of a later life alcohol problem conducted the interviews. Results Of the 118 services listed on Public Health England’s online directory of rehabs, 75% stated that they had an upper age limit that would exclude older adults. Perceived differences in values, attitudes and behaviour between younger and older residents had an impact on older residents’ experience of rehab. Activities organised by the rehabs were often based on physical activity that some older adults found it difficult to take part in and this could create a sense of isolation. Some older adults felt unsafe in rehab and were bullied, intimidated and subjected to ageist language and attitudes. Conclusion This study identified direct and indirect age discrimination in rehabs contrary to the law. Further research is required to find out if age discrimination exists in rehabs in other countries. Rehabs should remove arbitrary age limits and ensure that they are responsive to the needs of older adults.
    • Addressing the needs of older adults receiving alcohol treatment during the Covid-19 pandemic: a qualitative study

      Seddon, Jennifer L.; Trevena, Paulina; Wadd, Sarah; Elliott, Lawrie; Dutton, Maureen; McCann, Michelle; Willmott, Sarah; Breslin, Julie; Glasgow Caledonian University; University of Bedfordshire (Drink Wise Age Well, 2020-12-09)
      This study aims to better understand the impact of the pandemic on older alcohol service users aged 55+ and alcohol service providers. The key aims of the study are to: 1 Explore the consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic and lockdown on older service users, including on their alcohol consumption. 2 Identify how alcohol services have adapted and supported older service users, and how staff experienced these changes. 3 Identify the short and long-term implications for service provision, and how service responses could be improved.
    • Alcohol use in older adults: analysis of UK survey and alcohol treatment data

      Wadd, Sarah; University of Bedfordshire (University of Bedfordshire, 2020-12-10)
      This report provides an analysis of data from 15,753 people aged 50 and over who took part in an alcohol survey or attended alcohol services to get help with their drinking during 2015-2020.
    • Calling time: addressing ageism and age discrimination in alcohol policy, practice and research

      Wadd, Sarah; Holley-Moore, George; Riaz, Amna; Jones, Rebecca; Drink Wise, Age Well; University of Bedfordshire; International Longevity Centre (Drink Wise, Age Well, 2017-12-04)
      This report reveals evidence of age discrimination in alcohol policy, practice and research.  The findings are based on a survey of professionals, interviews and focus groups with older adults with alcohol problems and a summative review of relevant policy and published literature.
    • Factors influencing routine cognitive impairment screening in older at-risk drinkers: findings from a qualitative study in the United Kingdom

      Madoc-Jones, Iolo; Wadd, Sarah; Elliott, Lawrie; Whittaker, Anne; Adnum, Laura; Close, Ciara; Seddon, Jennifer L.; Dutton, Maureen; McCann, Michelle; Wilson, Fiona (Wiley, 2020-07-14)
      Cognitive Impairment (CI) screening is recommended for those engaged in harmful levels of alcohol use. However, there is a lack of evidence on implementation. This paper explores the barriers and facilitators to CI screening experienced across a service specifically for older drinkers. The findings draw on data gathered as part of an evaluation of a multilevel programme to reduce alcohol-related harm in adults aged 50 and over in five demonstration areas across the United Kingdom. It is based on qualitative interviews and focus groups with 14 service providers and 22 service users. Findings are presented thematically under the section headings: acceptability of screening, interpretation and making sense of screening and treatment options. It is suggested that engagement with CI screening is most likely when its fit with agency culture and its purpose is clear; where service providers have the technical skills to administer and discuss the results of screening with service users; and where those undertaking screening have had the opportunity to reflect on their own experience of being screened. Engagement with CI screening is also most likely where specific intervention pathways and engagement practices can be accessed to respond to assessed need.
    • The older adult

      Wadd, Sarah (CRC Press, 2017-05-02)
    • 'Wet' care homes for older people with refractory alcohol problems: a qualitative study

      McCann, Michelle; Wadd, Sarah; Crofts, Gill; University of Bedfordshire (Alcohol Research UK, 2017-08-04)
      Background This study describes a registered care home in England and a registered nursing home in Norway which provide permanent care for alcohol-dependent older people who are unable or unwilling to stop drinking and cannot maintain an adequate standard of self-care and/or live independently. Prior to admission, most residents have been living unsafely in their own home or were homeless. They have high levels of contact with health, social and criminal justice services and complex needs as a result of mental illness, poor physical health and physical disabilities. Most have lost contact with their families. The aim is to stabilise drinking, physical and mental health and improve quality of life. The homes are based on a harm reduction philosophy, that is, they focus on strategies to reduce harm from high-risk alcohol use, rather than insisting on abstinence. Residents can drink as much alcohol as they want on the premises but staff encourage them to drink less and in a less harmful way (e.g. spreading drinking throughout the day and having ‘dry’ days). Method We carried out interviews and focus groups with staff and residents, observed verbal exchanges, experiences and routines in communal areas, took field notes during staff rounds and analysed documents such as care plans for individual residents. Key findings • Most residents’ drinking, physical and mental health stabilises and their use of health, social and criminal justice services reduces following admission. • This is achieved by encouraging less harmful drinking, providing on-site health care, assistance with medication and self-care and provision of nutritious meals and social activities. • Wet care homes are viewed by some residents as a safe refuge which has improved their quality of life. • Other residents are frustrated by a lack of personal autonomy. • Suitable outcomes include improved hygiene and nutrition, increased self-esteem, better compliance with healthcare, healthier living which is not entirely alcohol focused and more hope for the future. • Homes should have processes in place to collect quantitative measures which provide clear evidence of impact.