Scheme to target elderly drinkers

Enjoying a pint or two!
Enjoying a pint or two!

A successful pilot scheme that helps frontline staff identify problem drinking among elderly people in the west of Edinburgh is to be rolled out.

An advice toolkit was drawn up after alcohol-related harm was identified as a significant concern among those aged 65 years and over living in the Almond and Edinburgh West areas of the city.

Staff training and the toolkit, which includes a unit measuring glass, phone numbers and information leaflets, has been well received and it is anticipated that similar training may be undertaken by Police Scotland, Scottish Fire and Rescue and third sector partners in the future.

The scheme was created by the joint Almond and Western Edinburgh Neighbourhood Partnership Health and Community Care Sub-Group in collaboration with NHS Lothian which had concerns about drinking habits.

Councillor Maureen Child, communities and neighbourhoods convener, said: “Many elderly people enjoy the occasional tipple, – there is nothing wrong with that. This toolkit is aimed at those whose drinking habits are causing harm to their health.

“Staff have been very positive about the pilot scheme and have welcomed the support it gives them to approach residents who may be struggling.

“The health and well-being of our residents is the most important factor, especially with our ageing population.

“Anything that helps to reduce health inequalities should be welcomed.”