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Helping Patients and Families Make End-of-Life Care Decisions (PD102319)

Presenter(s): Michelle Leigh Arnold, AuD, CCC-A; Debra Dobbs, PhD
Course Description

Older adults must make important decisions about their end-of-life care, including power of attorney assignment and advance directives, and those with hearing and other communication disorders need special accommodations to participate in these important decisions to the fullest extent possible. This session discusses the communication needs of patients in the final stages of life, including the use of various hearing technologies, such as hearing aids, personal sound amplifiers, and pocket talkers. The presenters discuss tools to facilitate conversations among patients, family members, and caregivers.

This course is a recorded session from the online conference “Audiology 2017: Cutting-Edge Perspectives in Service Delivery for Older Adults.”

Related Courses

See more sessions from Audiology 2017.

Learning Outcomes
You will be able to:

  • Define “advance directive” and “power of attorney,” and explain the impact these decisions make on end-of-life care
  • Describe different hearing technologies to facilitate conversations among patients, family members, and caregivers
  • Use the “Conversation Starter Kit” and explain its use to patients, family members, and caregivers

Presenter Information

Michelle Arnold, AuD, CCC-A, is currently a clinical instructor at the University of South Florida (USF), located in Tampa, in the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, and is a candidate for a PhD in aging studies, also at USF. Her primary areas of interest are policy related to hearing loss, hearing aids, and older adults, as well as relationships between hearing loss, aging, and health services utilization in monolingual and bilingual Spanish speakers. Most recently, Arnold has collaborated on research involving the decision-making processes of older adults with chronic health conditions and optimal hearing intervention as a possible factor to mediate the trajectory of dementia. Arnold’s previous work includes research focused on hearing aid digital noise reduction algorithms and acceptable noise level outcomes, audiological rehabilitation treatment plans for blast-injured veterans, tinnitus, and speech understanding in noise screening for adults.

Financial Disclosures:

  • Financial compensation from ASHA for this presentation

Nonfinancial Disclosures:

  • Member of the Gerontological Society of America

Debra Dobbs, PhD, is an associate professor at the School of Aging Studies, University of South Florida, Tampa campus. She received her PhD in sociology from the University of Kansas (2002) and was a post-doctoral fellow at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (2002–2004). Her main areas of research expertise are end-of-life care for older adults who live in community, residential, and nursing home settings. Dobbs currently is conducting an intervention study implementing a palliative care education program in assisted living in Florida in collaboration with area hospice organizations. She also has conducted research about quality of care at the end of life and hospice utilization in assisted living. Dobbs serves as a member of Florida’s Physician’s Order for Life Sustaining Treatment (POLST) Task Force and is a Fellow for the Gerontological Society of America. She also serves on the executive committee for the University of South Florida’s Center for Hospice, Palliative and End-of-Life Studies.

Financial Disclosures:

  • Financial compensation from ASHA for this presentation

Nonfinancial Disclosures:

  • Member of the Physician's Order for Life Sustaining Treatment Task Force

Assessment Type

Self-assessment—Think about what you learned and report on the Completion Form how you will use your new knowledge.

To earn continuing education credit, you must complete the learning assessment by the end date below.

Program History and CE Information

Online conference dates: October 11–23, 2017
End date: November 29, 2026

This course is offered for 0.05 ASHA CEUs (Intermediate level, Professional area).

Subscribers Ratings
PDH: 0.5
ASHA CEU*: 0.05
Item #(s): PD102319
Available Through: November 29, 2026