Communication with Elders

By: Laura More, MSW, LCSW & Edie Deane-Watson, MS, CCC, CCM

With the increasing number of older people in the United States, it is vital for healthcare professionals to communicate effectively and respectfully with elders. Effective, appropriate communication with elders is important for many reasons. For psychotherapists and other healthcare professionals, communication is the foundation of service delivery. Communication is required for assessment of the person prior to treatment. Symptoms are, after all, subjective and must be reported by the person to the clinician. Effective communication also contributes to health literacy; the person’s understanding of her condition, treatment options, and the treatment plan to be followed. A person cannot comply with a treatment program unless the program is communicated clearly enough for the person to understand it. The more effective the communication, the more effective treatment will be – and the more cost effective. Communication also helps the clinician understand the whole person: the emotional, social, and financial realities that affect response to treatment and ability to comply.

Communication with EldersCommunication with Elders is a 2-hour online continuing education (CE/CEU) course that provides an overview of aging changes that affect communication, dysfunctional communication habits to avoid, and strategies for appropriate communication with elders. 2015 | 26 pages | 15 posttest questions


This online course provides instant access to the course materials (PDF download) and CE test. Successful completion of the online CE test (80% required to pass, 3 chances to take) and course evaluation are required to earn a certificate of completion. You can print the test (download test from My Courses tab of your account after purchasing) and mark your answers on while reading the course document. Then submit online when ready to receive credit.

CE Information:
Professional Development Resources is approved by the American Psychological Association (APA) to sponsor continuing education for psychologists; the National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC ACEP #5590); the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB Provider #1046, ACE Program); the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA Provider #3159); the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR Provider #PR001); the California Board of Behavioral Sciences (#PCE1625); the Florida Boards of Social Work, Mental Health Counseling and Marriage and Family Therapy (#BAP346), Psychology & School Psychology (#50-1635), Dietetics & Nutrition (#50-1635), and Occupational Therapy Practice (#34); the Ohio Counselor, Social Worker & MFT Board (#RCST100501); the South Carolina Board of Professional Counselors & MFTs (#193); and the Texas Board of Examiners of Marriage & Family Therapists (#114) and State Board of Social Worker Examiners (#5678).
About the Authors:
Laura More, MSW, LCSW, is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and healthcare author. She earned her Masters of Social Work from Florida State University and has over twenty years of healthcare experience, with a focus on geriatric and head injury rehabilitation. Laura has directed case management, social service, and rehabilitation in skilled nursing, outpatient and inpatient hospital settings. She has managed long-term care rehabilitation from facility, area, and regional positions, with a strong emphasis on training and education of staff and client caregivers in the provision of care for geriatric patients in skilled nursing facilities. Laura was one of the founding partners of Care2Learn, a provider of online continuing education courses for the post-acute healthcare industry. She has authored or edited over 120 online continuing education titles, co-authored evidence-based care assessment area resources and a book, The Licensed Practical Nurse in Long-term Care Field Guide. She is the recipient of the 2010 Education Award from the American College of Health Care Administrators.
Edie Deane-Watson, MS, CCC, CCM, has served in the post-acute care industry in various capacities for 25 years. She developed and managed SNF based rehabilitation programs at the facility and regional level and was one of the founding partners of Care2Learn, a provider of online continuing education courses for the post-acute healthcare industry. In addition, she has worked in acute care, head injury, life care planning, and e-learning. She is currently the Director of Education and Training at American Health Tech, a leading provider of post-acute care integrated software.

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