OADC Monthly Newsletter





Tips for Managing Disability Related Pain as You Age

People with physical disabilities often experience pain related or in addition to their disability condition. When this pain lasts for more than three months, it is called chronic pain. Chronic pain seems to be most common in middle age (45-65 years). However, as some individuals with physical disabilities age, the frequency and severity of pain may increase. Chronic pain can have negative effects on sleep, mood, fatigue, thinking, work, and daily activities.

With help from health care providers, you can learn to manage your chronic disability-related pain and limit its impact on your life.

Types of Pain

You can have chronic pain in different parts of your body for different reasons. Three common types of chronic pain in people with physical disabilities are:

  • Musculoskeletal - This pain comes from problems in the muscles, tendons, and joints. It is often described as "aching" or "heavy." People with physical disabilities are at a greater risk than those without disabilities to develop the kind of pain as they age. For example, people who use a manual wheelchair for many years may experience musculoskeletal pain in their shoulders due to overuse.
  • Neuropathic - This pain is caused by abnormal signals from damaged nerves. It is often described as "sharp," "shooting," "electric," or "burning." People with physical disabilities are at a greater risk than those without disabilities to have neuropathic pain, especially if their disability condition involves damage to the nerves. For example, the most common symptom reported by people with multiple sclerosis (MS) is chronic neuropathic pain. Below injury-level neuropathic pain is also common in individuals with spinal cord injury (SCI).
  • Visceral - This is pain in the abdomen or pelvis and can be caused by conditions such as ulcers, constipation, or appendicitis. This pain is often described as "squeezing," "pressure," or "aching." Visceral pain is more common in people with SCI.

Maintaining a Healthy Lifestyle

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle can help you reduce and manage your chronic pain as you age. It may be the most important thing you can do to minimize pain and its impact in the long run. A healthy lifestyle includes:

  • Activity - Keeping busy and challenging yourself physically and mentally will help you have the energy and focus to manage your pain.
  • Diet - Eating healthier can help to relieve chronic pain. Diets high in fruits and vegetables, legumes, and whole grains and low in sugar and red meat have been related to lower levels of pain.
  • Weight - Added weight places more stress on joints and can make pain worse. Maintaining a healthy weight can help you move easier and with less pain.
  • Sleep and Rest - Adequate sleep and rest can make it easier to manage your pain.

Seeking Help for Your Pain

  • Talk to your health care provider about your chronic pain. Pain is a personal experience, and health care providers often rely on your description of the pain to diagnose and treat it.
  • When meeting with your health care provider, be honest about how much (or little) pain is affecting you.
  • The best treatment plans for chronic pain are tailored to the person and the type of pain he or she has. Your treatment plan should include input from you, your family, and other members of your health care team.

Pain Management

There are several treatments available to help you effectively manage your pain as you age. Chronic pain is often best managed by using more than one strategy.


While it is important to rely on expertise from your health care provider, you play the most important role in managing our day-to-day pain. Self-management techniques for chronic pain include:

  • Tracking your pain - Keep a record of your pain and take it with you to your medical appointments. You may discover that your pain is unpredictable. Notice what triggers and what relieves your pain, such as changes in your activities, time of day, weather, or other conditions like stress or depression. Track your strengths. What are you doing well to deal with pain and its effects.
  • Setting goals - Use the information from tracking your pain to set goals for managing your pain. Ask your health care provider to help you create long-term goals, such as increasing your level of physical activity, learning relaxation techniques for pain, or decreasing the impact pain has on your mood. Break the long-term goals into smaller, more specific short-term goals.
  • Monitoring your progress - Monitor how different pain management strategies are working or not working. If one strategy does not work, tell your health care provider and discuss trying a different strategy.

Behavioral and Coping Skills Treatments

Behavioral treatments can help you manage pain and reduce the impact of pain on your life. Behavioral treatments for chronic pain include:

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy or "CBT" - Involves learning relaxation skills, goal-setting skills, strategies for becoming more active, and skills for pacing your activities. It can also include examining your thoughts about pain and learning new ways to replace any unhelpful throughts with more helpful ones. CBT has been shown to reduce pain, improve mood, and improve function.
  • Mindfulness training or meditation - Involves focusing on your present experience in a manner that is open and non-judgmental. Mindfulness can be helpful in managing the suffering that can occur with pain.

Physical Treatments

It is important to consult with your health care provider about physical treatment options to reduce risk of further pain. Physical treatments for chronic pain include:

  • Regular Exercise - Exercise is often helpful in managing pain and improving function. Potential goals for exercise include aerobic fitness, improved flexibility, increased strength, and increased skill in performing physical activities. Some people report that movement activities such as yoga, Tai Chi, swimming, or water aerobics are helpful in managing pain. If you have limited mobility due to age or disability, there are modified at-home and group exercise programs available.

Complementary and Alternative Treatments

There is some evidence that complementary medicine approaches may provide additional relief from chronic musculoskeletal and neuropathic pain. These may include things like massage, acupuncture, or self-hypnosis training. Most evidence does not support the use of homeopathic remedies or herbal treatments for chronic pain.


Pain is often treated with over-the-counter or prescription pain relivers. Categories of medications and the types of pain they are used to treat include:

  • Over-the-counter medications - These medications are effective for the management of mild to moderate pain. Common ones include:
    • Acetaminophen, such as Tylenol®, is often used to relieve pain associated with mild arthritis and osteoarthritis.
    • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as aspirin and ibuprofen, and Aleve®, are often used to relieve pain associated with mild arthritis, osteoarthritis, and rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Prescribed pain medications - Prescribed medications are sometimes used to treat or reduce the symptoms of chronic pain. Some common ones include:
    • Anticonvulsants (also known as anti-seizure medications) are used to treat neuropathic pain.
    • Several kinds of antidepressants are sometimes used to treat neuropathic pain and depression and to assist with sleep.
    • Opioids are sometimes used to treat neuropathic pain, acute tissue injury, and musculoskeletal pain. Long-term use of opiods can result in tolerance and other health problems. It is important to discuss the risks and potential benefits of opioids with your health care provider.
    • Muscle relaxants and anti-spasticity medications are sometimes used to treat spasm-related and musculoskeletal pain.
    • There is some evidence that medical marijuana reduces central neuropathic pain and spasticity in people with MS, and more research is underway. As of 2018, medical marijuana is legal in 29 US states and Washington DC.

Although it is common to think that pain is "normal" as we age, there are treatments to reduce the impact of chronic pain on your life. Be open to the options your provider suggests for managing for pain but also be active in looking for solutions!






oral health

Oral Health Survey of Older Americans

AARP has published a new Thinking Policy blog post highlighting the findings of a recent survey about the oral health of older adults. The survey asked older adults about their current oral health needs, the barriers they face obtaining oral health care, and the value they place on having regular access to such care. Significant findings include:

  • Over a third of respondents ages 65 and older had not seen a dentist or dental hygienist in a year or more
  • 90 percent said that oral health care is extremely or very important to a person's overall general health
  • Over half of respondents (55 percent) reported not having any dental coverage

This survey helps illustrate the challenges many older adults face in accessing affordable dental care. You can read the full blog post about the survey and its findings here.



New Funding Opportunity: Innovations in Nutrition Programs and Services

ACL recently released a new funding opportunity for the aging services network.  This opportunity supports systematic testing and documentation of innovative and promising practices that enhance the quality, effectiveness, and other proven outcomes of nutrition programs and services within the aging services network.

An innovation must be a product, service, or process that is new (or a significant enhancement) and can be replicated by the aging services network using OAA funding. Applicants should ask themselves the question, "is this truly innovative" when conceptualizing ideas.

ACL plans to award approximately seven cooperative agreements to domestic public or private non-profit entities for a 36-month project period. Applicants may request a total maximum of $250,000 for each of the three 12-month budget periods.

An informational call for interested applicants will be held on April 9, 2019 at 2:00 pm, ET. The dial-in information is: 888-972-9340 Passcode: 2544971

This Funding Opportunity closes on May 28, 2019.  


Seed Grants for Grandparents and other Relatives Raising Children 

The Brookdale Foundation Group has issued a Request for Proposals for creating or expanding supportive services to grandparents and other relatives raising children.

Up to 15 programs will be selected to receive a seed grant of $15,000 based on progress made during the first year and potential for more in the future. Technical assistance will also be provided.

Any 501 (c)(3) or equivalent not-for-profit organizations can apply. The RFP proposal and guidelines can be downloaded by visiting this website: https://protect2.fireeye.com/url?k=f5c5da61-a991c31d-f5c5eb5e-0cc47adc5fa2-436fcb4551da46ef&u=http://www.brookdalefoundation.org/.

Proposals are due at the Brookdale Foundation Group office in New Jersey on Wednesday, June 12, 2019.  

For more information, please contact Melinda Perez-Porter at mpp@brookdalefoundation.org 


Disability and Rehabilitation Research Projects (DRRP) Program

The purpose of the DRRP program is to plan and conduct research, demonstration projects, training, and related activities (including international activities) to develop methods, procedures, and rehabilitation technology that maximize the full inclusion and integration into society, employment, independent living, family support, and economic and social self-sufficiency of individuals with disabilities.

DRRP on Assistive Technology to Promote Independence and Community Living (Research): Applicants must propose a research project that is aimed at improving technology solutions to improve independence and community living outcomes of people with disabilities – with a particular emphasis on seniors with disabilities.

DRRP on Assistive Technology to Promote Independence and Community Living (Development): Applicants must propose a development project that is aimed at improving technology solutions to improve independence and community living outcomes of people with disabilities – with a particular emphasis on seniors with disabilities.

Please visit the link above for more details about these grant opportunities and application process. 

This grant opportunity closes on June 17, 2019.


Education & Events  



Age Friendly Louisville Work-groups Scheduled This Month!

We welcome anyone who is interested in participating in  the planning and implementation process of Louisville's age-friendly city plan to connect with us by joining our email list and attending a one of the upcoming domain workshops.


Domain: Housing

Tuesday, May 7


The Edison Center

701 W. Ormsby Ave


Domain: Community Supports & Health Services

Tuesday, May 7


Jewish Family & Career Services

2821 Klempner Way


Domain: Mobility & Access

Tuesday, May 14


The Edison Center

701 W. Ormsby Ave


Domain: Social Participation, Respect & Inclusion

Tuesday, May 14 


The Thrive Center

204 E. Market Street

Click the logo above or visit our website at www.agefriendlylou.com  to learn more!


3rd Annual

Be Empowered!

At The NIA

Thursday, May 9

10:00am - 3:00pm

Resources include :
Credit Health
Financial Coaching
BB&T Banking Bus
Career Fair
Resume Help
HIV Testing
Community Resource Fair
Raffles & Prizes All Day!

2900 W. Broadway

Louisville, KY 40211

Many thanks to our continued event sponsor:

For more information, please call 502-574-5191


National Council on Aging Webinar:

Building Community-Integrated Networks through Purposeful Partnerships

Thursday, May 9


Community-based organizations are increasingly banding together to develop collaborative community-integrated networks to support older adults’ ability to live independently in their communities and develop health care contracts to improve service delivery. This webinar will focus on the building blocks of community-integrated networks and critical steps in developing an effective hub, including conducting an environmental scan, evaluating organizational culture, and formalizing partnership roles and responsibilities. Details about the 2019-20 Network Development Learning Collaborative will also be shared.


  • Sharon Williams, Chief Executive Officer, Williams Jaxon Consulting, LLC
  • Dianne Davis, Vice President, Health Self-Management Services, Partners in Care Foundation
  • Jennifer Raymond, Chief Strategy Officer, Elderly Services of Merrimack Valley, Inc.

Register for the event



Technology Made Simple with AARP and Thrive 

Friday, May 10

9:00am - 3:00pm

Thrive Center

204 E. Market St. Louisville, Kentucky 40202

Register Today


Shred Event Hosted by Senior Care Experts

Saturday, May 11


Come prepared to destroy your confidential documents and safely toss expired medications.

Paper shredding by Paper Predator.

Drug Toss hosted by LMPD.

145 Thierman Lane (between Walmart & U-Haul)

Call 502-896-2316 for more!




21st Anniversary


  Tuesday, May 14


Hosted by:


 MUSCL Senior Wellness Center

 1016 E. Burnett Ave, Louisville, 40217

Call OADC at 502-574-5092 for more information


 Healthy Living for Your     Brain & Body

May 14, 2019


 For centuries, we’ve know that the health of the brain and body are connected.  But now, science is able to provide insights into how to optimize our physical and cognitive health as we age.  Join us to learn about research in the areas of diet and nutrition, exercise, cognitive activity and social engagement, and use hands-on tools to help you incorporate these recommendations into a plan for healthy aging. 

Call 800-272-3900 to register.

Registration required. Designed for the general public.

Alzheimer’s Association – 6100 Dutchmans Lane, 4th floor 


gloria bell

AARP Kentucky Presents Movies for Grownups:


Wednesday, May 15

7:00 pm

AMC Stonybrook

2745 S Hurstbourne Pkwy

This event is free, but you must register in advance. 



Resources  for Integrated Care Webinar:

Promising Practices for Meeting the Needs of Dually Eligible Older Adults with Substance Use Disorders

Thursday, May 16


By 2020, the number of older adults with substance use disorders (SUDs) is expected to reach 5.7 million. This group faces unique challenges in receiving appropriate care: formal diagnosis criteria are less relevant for older adults than the general population; older adults are less likely to be screened for a SUD; and individuals dually eligible for Medicare and Medicaid have about twice the rate of co-occurring SUD and chronic pain compared to Medicare-only beneficiaries, making them a particularly vulnerable group.

This interactive webinar will discuss common SUDs, identify promising practices for screening, treatment, and care coordination, and demonstrate practical strategies for meeting the needs of older adults with SUDs. Speakers, including a consumer with lived experience, will share lessons learned and strategies to provide effective care for dually eligible older adults with SUDs.

Featured Speakers

  • Louis Trevisan, MD, Associate Professor of Psychiatry, Yale University
  • Nicole MacFarland, PhD, Executive Director, Senior Hope
  • Elizabeth Baumann, LSW, Case Manager, Council of Aging of Southwestern Ohio
  • Sherri, CASAC, Consumer

Register for the event

Registration is required to receive the webinar information. 


Stroke Awareness Day Health Fair

Saturday, May 18

10:00am- 1:00pm

 Jefferson Mall Center Court

4801 Outer Loop 

Risks, Warning signs, Prevention, Recovery, Rehabilitation,
Treatment and available resources, goodie bags, giveaways and MORE!
FREE stroke risk and health assessments


NADRC Webinar: Engaging, Training and Implementing Programs that Utilize Volunteers for Dementia Programs

Tuesday, May 21


Volunteers can provide valuable support for organizations serving persons living with dementia and their caregivers by enabling those organizations to expand their capacity and plan for long-term sustainability. This webinar will focus on finding, training, and retaining volunteers; providing volunteers with meaningful work; and determining which volunteers are a good match for programs. 


  • Kay Wallick is the program director for Dementia Friendly Wyoming. She is a founder of Green House Living for Sheridan, an alternative skilled nursing facility, and was national Director of Shepherd’s Centers of America.
  • Daphne Johnston is founder and director of the Respite Ministry in Montgomery, Alabama. Her faith-based, volunteer model of care has spread to 12 new programs in the southeast.

Register for the event

Registration is required to receive the webinar information. 


You can now get text reminders for TRIAD and links to the OADC newsletter on your phone by clicking the seal below and simply entering your phone number!


*Your number is kept confidential and not sold or given to other agencies.*



Sarah Teeters


Louisville Metro Government

Office for Aging & Disabled Citizens

Department of Resilience & Community Services

The Edison Center

701 West Ormsby Street, Suite 201, Louisville, KY 40203