Skip to Content

Cumberland Coalition Hiring Older Adult Specialist

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
Cumberland Coalition Hiring Older Adult Specialist

Cumberland Prevention Coalition will use $100,000 in State Opioid Abatement Money to fund a new older adult prevention specialist.

Executive Director Lachelle Lee said 32 percent of the Cumberland County population is 65 years old or older, some 15 percent higher than the state average. She said this demographic has a hard time getting treatment and is often more susceptible to substance misuse.

“We really want to focus on providing education to, not only prescribers but also people who are being given these medications to know how to take them appropriately and to know that they can stop taking them if they don’t need them,” Lee said. “And also looking at alternate methods to pain management over prescribing opioids.”

Lee said the specialist would work in senior citizen centers and teach elderly people the potential dangers of prescription medications. She said the program will provide medication lock boxes and medication logs for people with memory issues. She said many people believe that through life experience, the elderly population should understand the dangers of opioid use, but that is not necessarily true.

“We kind of get this stigma that there’s this very specific population that becomes addicted to opioids when really, there isn’t,” Lee said. “Addiction doesn’t discriminate. Anybody can become addicted to substances like this.”

She said the specialists will provide healthcare providers with Narcan as well. She said senior citizens often struggle to get treatment for these issues because they are typically on Medicare, a provider not always guaranteed to pay for this type of treatment.

“It sounds like it’s a really fancy term and like we’re going to have a very specific individual to do that, and while it will take a very specific individual who has the heart to work with this population and the heart to work in this field, it’s a very trainable position,” Lee said.

Lee said they also plan to work with hospice providers around the county. She said she hopes working in the new position would open the door for the specialist to receive prevention certification down the road and expand their work.


The post Cumberland Coalition Hiring Older Adult Specialist appeared first on News Talk 94.1/AM 1600.