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Elder Abuse in the United States: A Teaching Strategy for Nurses


Elder Abuse in the United States: A Teaching Strategy for Nurses

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Overview of Teaching Strategy

More the two million older adults are abused in the United States each year according to the National Center on Elder Abuse. It is estimated that 90% of the abusers are family members or caregivers. With a growing aging population, the need for student nurses and nurse to correctly identify abused older adults is significant. Forms of abuse include: Physical Abuse, Sexual Abuse, Emotional Abuse, Neglect, Abandonment, and Financial Abuse. This teaching strategy can be used to enhance the learning of students in beginning pre-licensure nursing courses. Student will recognize and discuss the various forms of abuse in older adults, and identify resources that could potentially assist older adults in this situation. In addition, students will use the ACE.S to identify vulnerable older adults at risk for abuse. Lastly, this teaching strategy can be utilized in a variety of teaching/learning situations: didactic lectures; clinical settings such as post-clinical conference/debriefings; simulation scenario debriefings; or small seminar discussions. In addition, the teaching strategy can be used with practicing nurses as a professional development activity, as well as when orienting new graduate nurses.

Learning Objectives
Students will: 

  • Assess and recognize the various forms of abuse in older adults.
  • Assess the older adult's understanding of the various forms of abuse.
  • Identify factors that contribute to elder abuse.
  • Discuss available resources to assist older adults affected by abuse.
  • Describe the role of the nurse when providing care to the older adult in an abusive situation.
  • Describe the complexities involved in making care decisions for older adults suffering from abuse.
  • Identify the legal rights of an older adult who is victim of abuse.

ACE.S Knowledge Domains 

  • Individualized Aging
  • Complexity of Care

ACE.S Essential Nursing Actions 

  • Assess Function and Expectations
  • Coordinate and Manage Care
  • Make Situational Decisions

NLN Competencies for Graduates of Nursing Programs 

  • Human Flourishing
  • Nursing Judgment
  • Professional Identity
  • Spirit of Inquiry

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