Group of seniors having lunch

‘Social prescribing’ pilot project used connection to fight pain

Published: 19 October 2021
  • vic
  • 19 October 2021
  • COTA Victoria

Research has shown that increasing social connections can improve the quality of life for people over 65 who have chronic pain. That finding was the inspiration for a recent Yarra Ranges pilot project supported by COTA Victoria. Opioid Use and Pain: Addressing Loneliness in Mature Adults (OP-ALMA) aimed to help older adults cut down on their use of pain medication by increasing their social connections.

OP-ALMA helped older people develop an individualised plan to increase their connections with others, exploring the activities they were already involved in and new opportunities in other areas of interest.

With the pandemic presenting obvious challenges to ‘social prescribing’, OP-ALMA had to adapt. Older people were loaned a tablet and helped to connect online, with regular one-on-one phone calls from the OP-ALMA team to support online activities.

Click here to download the results of the research as an infographic.