A Leading Voice for ACE Response in the Sectors of Aging and Addictions

 

Senior Hope Counseling, Inc. is the only non-intensive, freestanding, OASAS licensed outpatient clinic in New York State that caters exclusively to adults aged 50 and older who struggle with substance use challenges.  As an active partner in the Capital District's Healthy Environments and Relationships that Supports (HEARTS) initiative, Senior Hope continues to evolve their ACE- informed services and promote a culture of resilience for both clients and staff.  Senior Hope is a leading voice for the sectors of aging and addictions in the HEARTS Initiative cross-sector collaborative within the national Mobilizing Action for Resilient Communities (MARC) project and continues to work toward advancing project goals.  

The ACE questionnaire has been administered now to 64 new clients (aged 50 or older) over this past year (January 2016- present).  ACE scores are reviewed at weekly staff meetings and are among the factors considered in treatment planning.  The agency's trauma support group, facilitated by a staff member with expertise in child welfare services, is offered to those clients identifying a trauma history and who are interested in gaining social support and building resilience among peers.  Staff self-care continues to be central to the maintenance of a resilient organizational culture.  

Weekly analysis of completed ACE questionnaires has shown 43 out of 64 (approximately 2/3) had a score of less than 4. 21 out of 64 (approximately 1/3) had a score of greater than or equal to 4. It was our initial belief we would be seeing a majority of patients showing a score of 4 or higher. These findings, however, illustrate that the majority do not have a score of 4 or higher and it is our intent to continue collecting data through the end of the year. Further analysis will take place allowing us to determine if the average scores of our patient population increase by the end of the year.

We believe it is very important to offer the ACE questionnaire to this elder addicted population because services were not in place to insulate our patients when they were younger. This ACE questionnaire has been instrumental in helping to inform treatment planning allowing staff at Senior Hope to custom tailor their approach to meet the unique needs of this vulnerable population. We believe that this project upon its conclusion will help reinforce the importance of the need for early intervention and prevention to help decrease the likelihood of long-term struggles with addiction, mental health and physical impairments associated with early childhood trauma.      

We plan to continue analyzing data by year end and to disseminate the findings to help educate and inform the health care community of the findings from our MARC project here at Senior Hope.  

 

Visit the following sites for further information about Senior Hope Counseling, Inc.

http://www.seniorhope.org/

https://www.facebook.com/Senior-Hope-195059470831009/

 

Contact information:

Executive Director, Nicole MacFarland, PhD     n.macfarland@seniorhope.org

Clinical Director, Marianne Hunter, LCSW       m.hunter@seniorhope.org

 

Senior Hope Counseling, Inc.

301 South Allen St.

Albany, NY 12208

518-489-7777

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