Safety vs. Self Determination: Decisions While Leaving the Hospital
By: Charissa Eaton, MSW, PhD, Associate Professor
Social Work Department, Winona State University
The largest segment of the population in the United States discharged from acute care hospitals are people 65 and older. Many of these older adults leave hospitals with on-going care needs whether they return home with services or temporarily or permanently relocate for post-acute care. In Minnesota, social workers and nurses employed by hospitals assist older adults and their families make decisions about their needs upon discharge. These decisions are influenced by the wishes of the older adult and their families, the safety of the plan, and the context of the Western medicine.
This webinar will explore:
- The ethical dilemma of safety vs. self determination that can arise when older adults are making decisions about their needs upon leaving the hospital, and
- The impact of the medical model on the professionals who are working with these older adults to make discharge plans and implement them.
Charissa’s research examines how healthcare professionals, especially social workers, assist older adults in making decisions about post-hospital care. In addition to teaching and research, Charissa is active with the Minnesota Gerontological Society both on the annual conference committee and as a Board member. She also participates on the Elder Network Winona County Advisory Board. Charissa’s social work practice experience focused on working with older adults via geriatric case management and medical social work.