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Release Date: October 3, 2016
The number of older adults age 65 and older living in the United States is growing rapidly. Almost 40 million older adults were living in the United States in 2010. This number is projected to rise to more than 72 million by 2030, when approximately one in five U.S. residents will be age 65 or older. The most rapidly growing subpopulation of older adults is the “oldest-old” – age 85 and older – a group that grew to 5.5 million in 2010. Of these “oldest-old,” centenarians – those age 100 and older – are the group increasing at the fastest rate.
In the coming years, speech-language pathologists (SLPs) will increasingly face the 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 SLPs 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 program is offered for 0.20 ASHA CEUs (Intermediate-Level, Related Area)
- Identify frameworks and principles commonly used in healthcare settings for resolving ethical problems.
- Discuss 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.
- Discuss ethical concerns that commonly arise related to the use of medical technologies.
Sherry M. Cummings, PhD, MSW, MA, is associate dean and professor at the University of Tennessee, College of Social Work, in Nashville, TN, where she has served on the faculty since 1998. Dr. Cummings holds a doctorate in social work from the University of Georgia, Athens, an MSW 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 these needs on their 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.
Financial: Received an honorarium from Western Schools for this work.
Nonfinancial: No nonfinancial relationships disclosed.
- Contact hours will be awarded for up to one (1) year from date of purchase.
- You must score 75% or higher on the final exam and complete the course evaluation to pass this course to earn ASHA CEUs and/or 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.
- See author and peer reviewer tabs for disclosures. All other 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.