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Product ID: 387045EAU
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Caring for Nursing Home Residents Approaching the End of Life: A Social Work Perspective

OnDemand Webinar (82 minutes)

Approximately 22% of Americans die in nursing homes. For many, a nursing facility has become their home and for others the length of stay may be short and intense as it revolves around a singular experience of dying. In addition to the ethical and moral responsibility to provide the best care at the end of life, assisting staff to intervene effectively with residents and their families has the potential to enhance job satisfaction and affirm the value of staff to the institutions in which they practice. This OnDemand Webinar will focus on the social work role, as well as the shared responsibility of staff and administrators to provide respectful and expert care to residents as they come to the end of life.

Learning Objectives

  • You will be able to recognize and respond as residents transition to end of life.
  • You will be able to intervene to respond to physical symptoms, psychological and spiritual suffering.
  • You will be able to adapt assessment and interventions to the special needs of residents who are cognitively impaired.
  • You will be able to consider when evolving illness mandates reassessment to determine if interventions such as artificial hydration and nutrition have ceased to be beneficial and may cause harm.


Terry Altilio, MSW, LCSW, ACSW, Beth Israel Medical Center
Mercedes Bern-Klug, Ph.D., MSW, MA, University of Iowa


Nursing Home as a Palliative Care Setting

  • Subacute Residents
  • Chronic Care Residents
  • Admissions at End of Life

Social Work Role and the Shared Responsibility for Resident Comfort and Family Care

  • Resident Rights
  • Advance Directives
  • Emotional Needs of Residents, Family and Staff Members
  • Recognizing and Responding to Transition to End of Life

Shared Responsibility for Ensuring Physical Comfort

  • Pain
  • Shortness of Breath
  • Agitation
  • Anorexia
  • Artificial Hydration and Nutrition; When a Benefit Becomes a Harm
  • Special Concerns in Caring for Residents With Cognitive Impairment

Psychological Comfort

  • Depression
  • Loss and Adaptation
  • Grief and Bereavement
  • Rituals for Patients, Families and Staff