Behavioral Health : Counselor: Ethical Practices with Older Adults, Revised Updated 1st Edition

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About Course

Release Date: January 23, 2018
Expiration Date: January 23, 2023


The number of older adults (age 65 and older) living in the United States is growing rapidly. 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. This basic-level course is written for healthcare professionals, including social workers, mental health counselors, marriage and family therapists, and psychologists who work with older adults.

Social Workers completing this course receive 3 ethics continuing education credits.

New Jersey Social Workers - Ethical Practices with Older Adults, Revised Updated 1st Edition, Course #2957, is approved by the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) Approved Continuing Education (ACE) program to be offered by Elite Professional Education, LLC. as an individual course. Individual courses, not providers, are approved at the course level. State and provincial regulatory boards have the final authority to determine whether an individual course may be accepted for continuing education credit. ACE course approval period: 03/17/2020 - 03/17/2022. Social workers completing this course receive 3 Ethics continuing education credits.

New York Social Workers - This course does not meet the NY Social Work Board's criteria for acceptable continuing education.

Psychologists will receive 3 CE credits upon successfully completing this course.

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.

About the Author(s)

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.

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.

Course Disclosures

  • 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, Elite Healthcare ensures that this course content is presented in a balanced, unbiased manner and is free from commercial influence. It is Elite Healthcare's 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.

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