Asking the Difficult Question: Elder Abuse, Advance Directives and Driving

“Asking the Difficult Question” Series features three critical issues facing health professionals providing guidance and care for older adults. These include Elder Abuse, Advance Directives & Driving. 

Videos highlighting these topics have been produced which will assist health professionals, health professions faculty & students to address these critical issues.  These videos will be available through our online courses.  Elder Abuse and Advance Directives companion online courses are also available to complement the videos.

Please consider using these complimentary courses/resources for education, new employee orientation and as part of the curriculum for health professions students.

Assessing Elder Abuse in the Clinical Setting

It is estimated by the National Center on Elder Abuse, that approximately only one out of every 14 cases of elder abuse is reported.  Elder abuse may be physical, emotional, and sexual or may involve exploitation, neglect, abandonment or self-neglect.  Most often the abuser is someone who is a trusted family member or caregiver. As health professionals we must be trained to prevent and identify elder abuse and intervene in the lives of vulnerable, at risk older adults or those older adults being abused in silence.


Scenario 3: Intimate partner violence in the older adult

Scenario 2: In an outpatient office setting

Scenario 1: In a hospital inpatient setting



The decision to stop driving is an emotionally charged issue and one that can forever change the life of an older adult, those that love them and those that care for them. When is the right time to stop? Driving for most is the hallmark of independence and the desire/need to drive is often so powerful that it overrides all good judgment. Older age drivers, greater that 65, will double to 71 million representing one fourth of U.S. drivers by the year 2030. By that time, there will also be approximately 9.5 million Americans over age 85. This program will provide guidance to those health professionals, older adults, loved ones and caregivers as they begin this difficult conversation and journey.


Older Adult Drivers

Advance Directives

Register for online course

It is important for everyone to plan for his or her care at the end of life. Healthcare providers, family and close friends need to be aware of, and supportive of, these plans so that care that is desired is given and undesired care is withheld. An “advance directive” is a clear plan that defines such issues as medical care, power of attorney and resuscitation status at one’s end of life. As a result, this can be a difficult topic for many individuals to broach.


Planning for the Future

The Special Initiative Project "Asking the Difficult Question" Series was produced by the University of New England Maine Geriatric Education Center which is funded by the Health Resources Services Administration (HRSA) Grant Number 31HP08845.

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