Course Preview

  • Psychology
  • Social Work
Hours: 2 Contact Hours
  • Sherry M. Cummings, PhD, MSW, MA
  • Tennyson Dodd, BS, MTHS
Peer Reviewer(s):
  • Kathy Black, PhD, MSW, MSG, MPH
  • Venita Lovelace-Chandler, PT, PhD, PCS
Item#: C6541
Contents: 1 Course Book (58 pages)

Ethical Practices with Older Adults, Revised Updated 1st Edition

Price $19.95
Item # C6541
When available, the Online Course format is included with the hard copy, eBook, or audio book formats!

Release Date: January 23, 2018

Expiration Date: January 23, 2021

The number of older adults (age 65 and older) living in the United States is growing rapidly. Almost 60 million older adults were living in the United States in 2016. This number is projected to rise to over 72 million by 2030, when approximately one in five U.S. residents will be age 65 or older. The rapid growth of the older population results from multiple factors including medical advances, life-prolonging technologies, and the aging of the Baby Boom generation (whose members began turning 65 years old in 2011).
In coming years, healthcare professionals will face this aging of the population, along with the accompanying health and economic challenges. The purpose of this course is to highlight ethical issues that may confront healthcare and behavioral health professionals working with older adults and their families as these individuals near the end of life. Many of these issues are related to advances in medical technologies that have occurred over the past several decades (and that continue to be developed) and have led to increasingly complex choices. The course will provide background on ethical frameworks and principles used in healthcare settings for guidance in resolving ethical problems. This course will also identify major ethical issues concerning older adults and healthcare decisions and provide a model for addressing ethical dilemmas in healthcare settings.
This basic-level course is written for healthcare professionals, including nurses, social workers, mental health counselors, marriage and family therapists, psychologists, occupational and physical therapy practitioners, and respiratory therapists. Other healthcare professionals who work with older adults and on interdisciplinary teams will also find the information presented useful to their practice.


Counselors will receive 2 NBCC clock hours.

Counselors - Fulfills Ethics requirement in: IN & NE.

MFTs - Fulfills Ethics requirement in IN & NE.

Course Objectives

  • Identify frameworks and principles commonly used in healthcare settings for resolving ethical problems.
  • Recognize the steps used in resolving ethical dilemmas.
  • Distinguish between capacity and competence.
  • Describe the concept of advance care planning.
  • Identify the hierarchy used in surrogate decision making.
  • Recognize ethical concerns that commonly arise related to the use of medical technologies.

Sherry M. Cummings, PhD, MSW, MA, is an associate dean and professor at the University of Tennessee College of Social Work in Nashville, where she has served on the faculty since 1998. Dr. Cummings holds a doctorate in social work from the University of Georgia, Athens, a master’s degree in social work from the University of Maryland, Baltimore, and a master’s degree in theology from Villanova University, Philadelphia. She has written and published extensively, including journal articles, books, book chapters, and government reports, and has presented papers nationally on the mental health needs of older adults, the impact of those needs on caregivers, and the ethical dilemmas in working with older clients. Dr. Cummings has been actively involved in the development of curriculum materials for gerontological training in graduate social work education and has worked closely with government agencies to promote programs addressing the mental health needs of older adults.

Tennyson Dodd, BS, MTHS, is a graduate of Lipscomb University and Vanderbilt University’s Divinity School, both in Nashville. At Vanderbilt, he earned a master’s degree in theological studies. He is currently pursuing his master’s of science degree in social work at the University of Tennessee in Nashville. During his time at the University of Tennessee, Mr. Dodd has provided psychotherapy services to children in Nashville’s public school system and to students, faculty, and staff at a local university. Mr. Dodd also serves as a research assistant on issues of aging and mental health, housing, and refugees/immigrants.

Kathy Black, PhD, MSW, MSG, MPH, is an associate professor in the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of South Florida, Sarasota-Manatee, and is a Hartford Geriatric Social Work Faculty Scholar. Dr. Black obtained her doctorate from the University at Albany-SUNY, a master’s degree in social work and gerontology from the University of Southern California, Los Angeles, and a master’s degree in public health from the University of California, Los Angeles. A fellow of the Gerontological Society of America, Dr. Black has worked with older adults and their families as a nurse, social worker, and geriatric case manager for more than 25 years in acute care and long-term care in home-based and community-based settings. She has also taught courses in ethics and served on the bioethics committee of a large integrated healthcare system.

Venita Lovelace-Chandler, PT, PhD, PCS, is vice-chair and professor in the Department of Physical Therapy, University of North Texas Health Science Center (UNTHSC). She holds a BS in physical therapy from Southwestern Medical School (1971), an MA in college teaching from the University of North Carolina (1976), and a PhD in academic administration/health education from Texas A&M University (1989). Dr. Lovelace-Chandler served as chairperson for the University of Central Arkansas and Chapman University programs in physical therapy and as associate director of the School of Physical Therapy at Texas Woman’s University before joining UNTHSC. She has taught ethics for more than 30 years to professional and post-professional physical therapy students. She has more than 40 years of experience in pediatrics and has twice recertified as a pediatric specialist. Dr. Lovelace-Chandler has served in numerous American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) elected leadership positions, teaches advanced clinical practice courses for APTA, and has published articles and book chapters in pediatrics. She delivered the 2011 Linda Crane Memorial Lecture at APTA’s Combined Sections Meeting in New Orleans, and she won the Commission on Accreditation and Physical Therapy Education Distinguished Service Award in April of 2014.

  • Courses must be completed on or before the expiration date noted in the course description above.
  • You must score 75% or higher on the final exam and complete the course evaluation to pass this course and receive a certificate of completion.
  • Through our review processes, Western Schools ensures that this course content is presented in a balanced, unbiased manner and is free from commercial influence. It is Western Schools’ policy not to accept commercial support.
  • All persons involved in the planning and development of this course have disclosed no relevant financial relationships or other conflicts of interest related to the course content.