Contact Hours2.5 Hours
Modern medical advances enable millions of people to live well into their 80s, 90s, and beyond. However, for older adults, it is the quality of these years, rather than the quantity, that matters. Fundamental to achieving the desired outcomes of “successful aging,” and “quality of life,” is the concept of dignity. But what exactly is dignity? Although the term is cited as a core value of most health care professions, including occupational therapy, a majority of clinicians would be hard-pressed to provide an accurate definition. Closely aligned with the related, yet different, concepts of respect and autonomy, dignity refers to the inherent worth of each unique individual. Dignity emphasizes the maintenance of both self-respect and the state of being recognized and valued by others. Dignity is a fundamental human right. Furthermore, dignity is not merely a theoretical notion, but rather a measurable outcome that has practical implications for older adults and can be operationalized by the healthcare system.
In this class, we will delve into philosophical and practical definitions of dignity, frameworks that delineate different types of dignity, and how the concept of dignity varies among cultures. We will examine the importance of dignity to older adults receiving health care services in the community, their home, or a facility. We will use peer-reviewed studies to understand the most common ways older adults report their dignity diminished by caregivers and the health care system, and learn how occupational therapists and occupational therapy assistants are uniquely positioned to put an end to dignity violations and ensure the dignity of those we serve. Finally, we will consider the implications of current political movements and policies addressing the concept of dignity within the healthcare system.
This class is designed to provide both philosophical and practical information to occupational therapists and occupational therapy assistants who work with adults in skilled nursing and assisted living facilities, home health, mental health facilities, adult day cares, and inpatient rehab.
At the end of this course, the participant will be able to:
- Identify an accurate definition of the elusive concept of “dignity.”
- Explain why dignity is an important value in the field of occupational therapy.
- List 3+ examples of common dignity violations experienced by individuals receiving care in the community or a facility.
- List 3+ examples of ways OTs/OTAs can enhance client dignity during occupational therapy sessions.
- Describe examples of how OTs/OTAs can provide caregiver training/education to informal and formal caregivers to increase their ability to provide dignified care.
Approved in my State?
as Physical Therapists & Physical Therapist Assistants
as Occupational Therapists & Occupational Therapy Assistants
as Certified Athletic Trainers
as CSCS / CPT
as Massage Therapy
as Speech Therapy
Satisfactory completion of this course will require the participant to complete a 10 question post-test with a minimum passing score of 70%.