Over 50s urged to Drink Wise, Age Well

Paula Bradley MLA (right) and Maeve McLaughlin MLA (left) with Joanne Smith, Locality Manager, Drink Wise, Age Well at the inaugural meeting of the Drink Wise, Age Well Advisory and Impact Group at Stormont. INNT 50-501CON
Paula Bradley MLA (right) and Maeve McLaughlin MLA (left) with Joanne Smith, Locality Manager, Drink Wise, Age Well at the inaugural meeting of the Drink Wise, Age Well Advisory and Impact Group at Stormont. INNT 50-501CON

North Belfast DUP MLA Paula Bradley has given her support to a ground-breaking initiative aimed at reducing alcohol related harm in the over 50s.

Led in Northern Ireland by local charity Addiction NI, the Big Lottery funded programme brings together a UK wide consortium of stakeholders under the banner Drink Wise, Age Well.

Speaking at the launch of the Drink Wise, Age Well Advisory and Impact Group at Parliament Buildings, Chief Executive of Addiction NI, Thelma Abernethy, explained: “Drink Wise, Age Well is an evidence based community programme working to bring about a cultural change in the relationship with alcohol among over 50s.

“Our aim is to prevent the effects caused by harmful drinking through raising awareness and training those who work with over 50s to ensure that they can have the important conversations with older adults around alcohol use at an early stage.”

Paula Bradley MLA added: “Alcohol related hospital admissions are on the increase in the 50+ age group, and alcohol related ailments and illnesses such as poor sleeping patterns, heart conditions and falls are also increasing.

“These problems need to be addressed, and the launch of this initiative will play a big part in bringing about positive change to look after the health and wellbeing of our older population.”