Wellspring Hosts 3rd Annual “Prevention Works for Older Adults” Conference

Helen Helen Varvi, Deputy Director of Wellspring Center for Prevention along with Dr. Oleksiy “Alex” Lelyanov from the Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School preparing to address event attendees

By: Gina-Marie Miraglia, Preventionist

On December 4th, 2019 Wellspring Center for Prevention and the Middlesex County Office on Aging hosted their 3rd Annual "Prevention Works for Older Adults" Conference which focused on 'Managing Pain without Opioids'. Proper pain management poses an obstacle for older adults as there are laps in knowledge on opioid alternatives for chronic pain. From this conference, older adult caregivers, prevention specialists, doctors, and nurses learned about the power of pain management alternatives for older adults.

The conference started with our very own Helen Varvi, Deputy Director of Wellspring Center for Prevention, introducing the conference and the importance of the topic. Following, was Dr. Oleksiy "Alex" Lelyanov from Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. Dr. Lelyanov is an anesthesiologist and pain management physician. He expressed concern about the over prescription of opioids for chronic pain management and shared some alternative options that older adult patients could request from their physicians opposed to medication. He educated the professionals in the room about available alternative pain management options and how they benefit the body including anesthesiology and radiofrequency treatment.

Next, Nicki Francis Coordinator of Program and Professional Development at Wellspring Center for Prevention spoke about CBD's popularity for pain management. CBD is a derivative from the cannabis plant which does not have the psychoactive effects that THC has, but is said to have the same medicinal effects of medical marijuana. Nicki alluded to the fact that CBD is not legal on a federal level and thus, not regulated. Nicki expressed the importance of speaking to your medical professional before ingesting new substances.

We concluded the conference with Gina-Marie Miraglia, Preventionist at Wellspring Center for Prevention. She ended the day with a short guided chair yoga meditation. During this activity attendees learned the importance of taking a few minutes daily to relieve stress and tension in the body.

To learn more about opioid alternatives to pain management please visit:

https://www.cdc.gov/drugoverdose/training/nonopioid/508c/index.html

https://www.drugabuse.gov/news-events/nida-notes/2019/02/promising-alternative-to-opioid-pain-medications

https://www.hhs.gov/opioids/prevention/pain-management-options/index.html


Dr. Oleksiy "Alex" Lelyanov: Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School presents on the topic of "Effective Pain Management"

Nicki Francis, Wellspring's Coordinator of Program & Professional
Development presenting on "CBD - Myths and Facts"

Gina-Marie Miraglia, Wellspring Preventionist presenting "Stress Reduction through Yoga"

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