Date of Paper

5-2012

Type of Paper

Clinical research paper

Degree Name

msw

Department

socialwork

First Advisor

Katharine Hill

Abstract

The purpose of this study is to investigate the perspectives that social workers in the nursing home setting have in regard to their training and education on prevalence and prevention of elder abuse. Qualitative interviews were conducted with six nursing home social workers and one aging advocate from the St. Paul area, using convenience and snowball sampling. A demographic survey was also administered to participants. Content analysis was used to analyze the data. Findings from the nursing home social worker interviews suggest themes of: awareness of elder abuse, education on elder abuse (both in nursing homes and education settings) and its adequacy, knowledge and understanding of abuse reporting procedures, limited knowledge of federal laws, lack of trust in state Ombudsman, increased education for other nursing home staff, and brief responses and researcher observations of uncomfortable body language. Themes in the data from the aging advocate interview include: limited education on elder abuse for nursing home social workers, limited experience of nursing home social workers, limited comfort level for nursing home social workers to discuss elder abuse, and good and bad experiences in working with the Ombudsman. Thus, though nursing home social workers are aware of elder abuse and perceive their training and education on elder abuse to be comprehensive, training and education is still lacking in both nursing home and educational settings.

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