Ethics in Practice with Older Adults
Safety, illness, caregiving, and dying are not extraordinary issues in practice with older adults, especially in long-term care. In the course of their work, service providers often face difficult ethical questions and decisions that may be unexpected and can affect clients and families in immediate ways. Underlying these questions are deeper concepts: privacy, confidentiality, the right to self-determination, trust, goodness, and justice. This course provides practical tools for addressing ethical concerns that arise in everyday practice. Participants gain an understanding of the roots of ethical practice in philosophy, religion, and the social work tradition, and they consider moral behavior in light of a changing and diverse society and the complicated issues of modern science and technology. Based on this foundation, participants develop approaches that can guide them and their clients through a maze of choices and decisions. Case examples provide a view of everyday ethics in action. (4 CEUs)
- Knowledge of relevant concepts and terminology to allow assessment of one’s own values related to ethical practice and to underline application of ethical principles in behalf of older clients, especially those with limited capacity.
- Understanding of relevant values, including the social work perspective, and biases, especially ageism, and of the implications of different cultural and spiritual values and beliefs for ethical practice.
- Skills and tools to address ethical issues in practice with older adults.