Friday, April 12, 2024

Safe pain management for older adults achieved with peer support program

The National Council on Aging (NCOA), the national voice for every person’s right to age well, is working with Kenvue to help older adults manage their pain safely and effectively, using peer-to-peer support.

6-week Wellness and Pain Relief Program tested in three locations will be used in more communities to increase knowledge of pain management and decrease levels of pain.

“We want to ensure that all older adults—no matter their socioeconomic status, where they live, or racial and ethnic background—have access to the tools they need to improve their quality of life and overall wellness,” said Ramsey Alwin, NCOA President and CEO.

Pain is one of the most widely cited symptoms underlying disability among older adults. In a three-site pilot program tested in states with high rates of misuse of over-the-counter pain medication (Florida, Illinois, and Washington), the Wellness and Pain Relief Program:

  • Helped participants identify personal goals such as improving balance, flexibility, and endurance
  • Provided participants with resources, tools, and connections to pharmacists for the safe use of medications
  • Resulted in participants reporting lower overall pain, gaining knowledge in pain management, incorporating physical stretches, practicing relaxation techniques regularly, and improving the quality of their sleep

“Our pilot work showed excellent results, and we are looking to continue our research in collaboration with NCOA to learn more about the best way to support older adults to use over-the-counter medicine safely and adopt other behaviors to safely prevent pain and treat it properly,” said Kenvue CEO and Director Thibaut Mongon.

In 2021, 30% of people between 65 and 84 reported having chronic pain, and 10.4% had high-impact chronic pain. For people over 84, these numbers are higher: 34.3% reported chronic pain and 14.3% high-impact chronic pain.

While everyone reacts to pain differently, addressing pain early can make it easier to manage. Barriers to adequate pain care for older people include lack of access to care, insurance, and reimbursement for specialty care. This program can help older adults find affordable, safe ways to manage pain.

About NCOA

The National Council on Aging (NCOA) is the national voice for every person’s right to age well. We believe that how we age should not be determined by gender, color, sexuality, income, or zip code. Working with thousands of national and local partners, we provide resources, tools, best practices, and advocacy to ensure every person can age with health and financial security. Founded in 1950, we are the oldest national organization focused on older adults. Learn more at and @NCOAging.

Queer Forty Staff

Queer Forty writing staff work hard to bring you all the latest articles to help inspire and inform.

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