Planning - AOD and older people
We encourage Local Drug Action Teams to link with existing programs that have been shown to work.
Selecting an evidence-based activity
A critical early decision for your group is whether to link in with existing programs that provide social activities, healthcare information and support appropriate to older people in your community, or to develop your own activity.
Lions, Rotary and Apex Clubs
Rotary Australia also have information on volunteer avenues.
Men’s Sheds and Women’s Sheds
Women’s Sheds and Men’s Sheds are gender-specific community development organisations. They offer activities that promote social inclusion, upskilling and information sharing.
- Men’s Sheds are becoming a lot more popular, with more than 1,000 running across Australia.
- Women’s Sheds aren’t currently as prominent as Men’s Sheds, though there are some good regional examples, such as Wangarang Women’s Shed.
- The Country Women’s Association provides volunteering and community building opportunities in urban, regional and remote areas.
You may find other programs through local health services, peak bodies and by drawing on local knowledge and networks. There may be a number of existing programs already in place in your community that you can support and build on.
Existing programs may have an alcohol and other drug focus, or possibly a different overall focus such as preventing falls in the elderly, promoting appropriate use of medicines, or enhancing mental wellbeing. Be mindful to look outside the alcohol and other drug sector, as programs that target older people may be working towards other health and social outcomes.
Review the 'Determine the resources required' section on this page and Map your steps for insight into what is required when developing new approaches.
Due to the limited number of quality programs available, and the need for tailored approaches, many Local Drug Action Teams will work with community organisations to develop and deliver a targeted program for their community.
Set your objectives
Setting objectives for your activity is an important part of the planning process.
Some example objectives for ‘Alcohol, Other Drugs and Older People’ are provided below. Groups can develop their own objectives, although you may find these a useful starting point:
- Increase awareness of the NHMRC Guidelines amongst (xx) older people in (xx) community
- Increase (xx) community organisations’ knowledge of the impacts and effects of alcohol and other drugs on the ageing body
- Increase (xx) community organisations’ participation in (xx) actions (local promotional campaign, information stalls, local media) to increase awareness of impacts and effects of alcohol and other drugs on the ageing body amongst older people
- Deliver (xx) activities that promote participation and social connection amongst (xx) older people in (xx) community
- Link (xx) community organisations to existing education programs/expert guest speakers/accurate information/upskilling activities/social networking opportunities, to enable the delivery of activity for (xx) older adults
- Conduct (xx) to facilitate collaboration between community organisation (xx) and (xx) to promote accurate information/build supportive and inclusive healthcare systems/create a supportive culture/create stronger community referral networks for older people.
For more information on how to formulate SMART objectives see Set Your Objectives.
Working with community partners
Strong partnerships are critical to your success in preventing alcohol and other drug harms in the community.
Local Drug Action Teams will work with a variety of different community partners to deliver ‘Alcohol, Other Drugs and Older People’ activities. This could include health services, Lions Clubs, local councils, and other organisations that work directly with older people.
Partners can support your action in many different ways, including providing resources and venues for activities, hosting and promoting events, and providing opportunities for volunteering and social engagement, financial support, and much more.
Your specific approach to working with older people in the community may influence the type of individuals, networks and organisations that your group partners with.
Partners may include:
- Primary health services (e.g. general practitioners, pharmacists, dentists)
- Community health centres and neighbourhood houses
- Health services and hospitals
- Local council/s
- Age-specific care providers (e.g. retirement villages, aged care facilities, home-based care providers)
- Social services (e.g. welfare or housing services)
- Local social venues (e.g. RSLs, bowls clubs)
- The Department of Veteran Affairs
- Community leaders (e.g. faith leaders, sporting coaches)
- Psychological and mental wellbeing services (e.g. psychologists, psychiatrists, councillors, etc.).
Determine the resources required
All alcohol and other drug activities need to be adequately resourced. Below is an indicative list of resources required for community organisations to deliver Alcohol, Other Drugs and Older People activities. Local Drug Action Teams may be able to provide some of these resources, or work with partners who can provide additional support.
This is not an exhaustive list and your LDAT should be mindful that the resources required will be largely influenced by the action taken by your team.
- Basic administrative tools incl. access to stationery and office supplies, printers, phones, and a workspace for administrative duties.
- Venue/s for meetings. In-kind use of meeting rooms from a partner organisation, library, or local council may be possible. It is not appropriate for meetings to be held in people’s homes or private venues.
- Funds to provide catering at events and meetings. This might include basic refreshments available before and/or after the event are often sufficient (e.g. tea, coffee, water, biscuits).
- Knowledge and resources, as well as possible funds to deliver training of staff.
- Allocating time to liaise with community organisations (e.g. attend meetings, provide advice etc.).
- Insurance and liability coverage (where appropriate).
- Funds for additional activities (e.g. delivering an awareness initiative, or running a networking event).
Consider measures of success
While you are planning your activity, it is important to consider measures of success for your activity. Determine how you will evaluate the success of your activity linking your success measures to your objectives (see Measure your success).