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© J. Bechtold & E. Mulvaney 2012 OLDER ADULTS & GAMBLING: OUTREACH & PREVENTION Jody Bechtold, LCSW, NCGC-II, BACC.

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Presentation on theme: "© J. Bechtold & E. Mulvaney 2012 OLDER ADULTS & GAMBLING: OUTREACH & PREVENTION Jody Bechtold, LCSW, NCGC-II, BACC."— Presentation transcript:

1 © J. Bechtold & E. Mulvaney 2012 OLDER ADULTS & GAMBLING: OUTREACH & PREVENTION Jody Bechtold, LCSW, NCGC-II, BACC

2 © J. Bechtold & E. Mulvaney 2012 WHY FOCUS ON OLDER ADULTS?

3 © J. Bechtold & E. Mulvaney 2012 Source: A Profile of Older Americans: 2003, Administration on Aging, HHS Changing Demographics: More Elderly

4 © J. Bechtold & E. Mulvaney 2012 What is a Baby Boomer? Those born between (and including) 1946 and 1964 Currently represent 29% of the U.S. population

5 © J. Bechtold & E. Mulvaney 2012 LEISURE ACTIVITIES & SOCIALIZING

6 © J. Bechtold & E. Mulvaney 2012 Average Daily Time Use by Adults Ages 65 to 74 Years Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2006 Time Use Survey

7 © J. Bechtold & E. Mulvaney 2012 Daily Leisure Activities for Older Adults Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2006 Time Use Survey 29%29%

8 © J. Bechtold & E. Mulvaney 2012 Ten Keys to Healthy Aging 1. Lower LDLs 2. Combat Depression 3. Prevent Bone Loss & Muscle Weakness 4. Control Systolic Blood Pressure 5. Be Active 6. Regulate Diabetes Blood Glucose 7. Stop Smoking 8. Maintain Social Contact 9. Participate in Cancer Screening 10. Get Regular Immunizations From: Center for Healthy Aging at www.healthyaging.pitt.edu

9 © J. Bechtold & E. Mulvaney 2012 Potential Benefits of Leisure Activities for Older Adults Leisure activities promote Continued socialization Physical health Management of chronic conditions Emotional health Cognitive health

10 © J. Bechtold & E. Mulvaney 2012 Gambling as Leisure Provides an opportunity to socialize with others outside the home Potentially provides a way to use cognitive skills and maintain cognitive skills May promote some physical activity (depending upon amount of walking or other movement used to reach site)

11 © J. Bechtold & E. Mulvaney 2012 MA Council (Spring 2009 News) Gambling was identified as the most frequent activity by older adults Bingo was most popular Casinos were second most popular

12 © J. Bechtold & E. Mulvaney 2012 Socialization of Gambling Gambling is a socially acceptable form of entertainment We live in an actively gambling society Fundraisers PA Lottery slogan -- “benefits older Pennsylvanians” Gaming venues are upscale, accommodating, and have something for everyone

13 © J. Bechtold & E. Mulvaney 2012 New Jersey Senior Gambling Study 3 out of 4 seniors are gamblers and one-quarter are non- gamblers Nearly 2 out of 3 seniors play the lottery and almost as many gamble at casinos Almost 7 out of 10 casino-going gamblers spend most of their time playing slot machines Vast majority began gambling before they were 55 years old (86%) Council on Compulsive Gambling of New Jersey 2006

14 © J. Bechtold & E. Mulvaney 2012 McNeily & Burke, University of Nebraska Medical Center, 2000 Motivation for Gambling in Older Adults Boredom Relaxation Getting away Need for Social Interaction Gambling most frequent activity Bingo being most popular within the communities

15 © J. Bechtold & E. Mulvaney 2012 McNeily & Burke, University of Nebraska Medical Center, 2000 Older Adults sampled in casinos were: More likely to access different types of gambling Spend more on gambling each time they gambled Spend more money then intended Utilized credit and/or borrowed money to gamble Felt guilty about gambling

16 © J. Bechtold & E. Mulvaney 2012 Marketing Efforts to Seniors by Casinos Targeted offers to senior centers, retirement communities and senior groups Free or reduced cost buses Discounted food Free or discounted entertainment Other promotional coupons Prescription medication coupons

17 © J. Bechtold & E. Mulvaney 2012 Remember… Temptation is in the marketing…

18 © J. Bechtold & E. Mulvaney 2012 Older Adults & Gambling Reasons Older Adults Gamble: Disposable income Opportunity and Availability Boredom; Time on hands after retirement Loneliness and/or Depression Loss of spouse/friends/family Adjustment to new location Limited Recreational Alternatives Physical limitations, social limitations

19 © J. Bechtold & E. Mulvaney 2012 Older Adults & Gambling Reasons Older Adults Gamble: Relieves physical pain Supplement income Same reasons as younger gamblers Social Fun Parkinson’s Disease / Restless Leg Syndrome What?What?

20 © J. Bechtold & E. Mulvaney 2012 Parkinson’s Disease Researchers found that dopamine agonists, a common drug used to treat Parkinson’s Disease and Restless Leg Syndrome, may have a rare side effect of excessive gambling.  1,884 patients screened during a one-year period.  9 patients were classified as pathological gamblers Of those 9 classified as PG, the gambling behavior was severe enough to cause financial problems in excess of $60,000. None of the patients reported previous gambling issues. 1 patient withdrew from the project, declined therapy, and later committed suicide. American Academy of Neurology, 2003

21 © J. Bechtold & E. Mulvaney 2012 Parkinson’s Disease Researchers from the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota measured the effects of dopamine agonists on patients with Parkinson’s Disease.  267 patients screened during a two-year period.  38 patients given dopamine agonists in therapeutic doses.  7 out of 38 patients showed signs of excessive gambling. Mayo Clinic, 2009

22 © J. Bechtold & E. Mulvaney 2012 OUTREACH EFFORTS Jody Bechtold & Beth Mulvaney (PA Department of Health, Outreach Mini-grants awarded 2009 & 2010)

23 © J. Bechtold & E. Mulvaney 2012 2 Outreach Models Model 1: Professionals in the Community Goal: Reach 230 people Professionals presented at community-based locations (4 locations/events) Promotional materials – “The Casinos are here – how to make the most of your leisure time” 2 hour events at non-event times of current locations Served food and beverages Model 2: Peer Mentor in the Community Goal: Reach 145 people Peer Mentor was primary presenter at church and residential locations (3 events) Primed the residential location 4 weeks in advance with promotional materials Scheduled just before “big” regularly scheduled event Served food and beverage

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26 Results Only reached 76 older adults across 5 sites and 7 planned presentations Use of the word “gambling” in Program Title – mixed messages/perceptions Perception of staff regarding the usefulness of this type of outreach Member of group as internal champion Times offered for the program – key consideration Use of a Peer Mentor – well received

27 © J. Bechtold & E. Mulvaney 2012 FOCUS GROUPS: GAMBLING & OLDER ADULTS Hartford Partnership Program for Aging Education, University of Pittsburgh, School of Social Work (6 MSW students – final project, 2011)

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31 Area Agency on Aging Gambling & Older Adults Workshop Goal: train 125 people employed by a regional AAA in a 6 hour workshop with keynote speaker 120 attendees Knowledge and awareness pre-and post-test indicated usefulness Director level by-in - important 2 years later – with Director support Lacking relevance to daily work tasks & responsibilities Transportation routes include the casino

32 © J. Bechtold & E. Mulvaney 2012 LESSONS LEARNED Moving towards “Best Practices”

33 © J. Bechtold & E. Mulvaney 2012 Lessons Learned Finding a program title to accurately identify program and entice attendance is a challenge. Stigma creates a barrier to attendance for many people; approaching with idea that this information could help a friend or family member may make it more acceptable to attend. The supportiveness of the program staff and agency support made a difference in how well the program was perceived. More understanding/support resulted in better attendance. Having an older adult group member serve as an inside promoter/champion for presenters helped to improve attendance.

34 © J. Bechtold & E. Mulvaney 2012 Moving Towards Best Practices Scheduling at times /places when older adults already meet increased attendance. Priming the environment by posting materials or leaving out brochures and information in advance may impact attendance positively. Using a peer mentor seemed to be a more acceptable model than using professionals to present. At six sites, the target audience was socially connected. Only at the residential site was there an opportunity to reach out to people who might be socially isolated (risk factor for developing problem gambling). For staff training, having strong administrative backing, no charge for the training, and access to continuing education (CE) credits increased attendance. For staff training, having more relevance to daily job will help keep “problem gambling” in the forefront

35 © J. Bechtold & E. Mulvaney 2012 Reaching Older Adults DIRECTLY Socially Connected Older Adults Socially Isolated Older Adults OR  Get Agency Support (Administration and Program staff)  Identify “insider promoter / champion”  Prime the environment  Plan program at times and locations with already scheduled events  Provide food At residential Settings:  Get Facility Support (Administration and Program staff)  Train program staff  Identify “insider promoter / champion”  Prime the environment  Plan program at times and locations with already scheduled events  Provide food Develop  Brochures  Bulletin board displays  Newsletter articles  PSAs geared to Older Adults Deliver them to:  MD offices  Senior Housing locations  Neighborhood associations  Media – newspapers, TV and radio *** This assumes your state or locality has trained counselors who understand the needs of older adult gamblers.

36 © J. Bechtold & E. Mulvaney 2012 QUESTIONS

37 © J. Bechtold & E. Mulvaney 2012 THANK YOU Jody Bechtold, LCSW, NCGC-II, BACC jody@jodybechtold.com


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