667c71b7502e6ab3f946c0af Elder Abuse With Kimberly Erdman

Elder abuse and what to do

June 26, 2024
Did you know that 38 states list dental providers as those who must report elder abuse? What do you need to look for, and how do you report it?

Much of the mandatory education dental hygienists receive about child abuse can be applied to elder abuse, explains Kimbery Erdman. This abuse can be sexual, physical, emotional; but there's can also be an aspect of exploitation, often in the form of financial abuse, and often from family members.

Of the 50 states, 38 have laws that specifically list dental providers as those who must be reporters if they suspect elder abuse. Of the 38, 14 list dental hygienists specifically.

What are the signs dental hygienists should look for? Kimberly shares how she suspected financial exploitation in one of her patients. She also shares her experience when she tried to get help for her elderly aunt, and how difficult it was to figure out how to report it.

All abuse reporting varies by state, but one of the best resources can be found through the American Bar Association. The ABA can provide information from the Commission on Law and Aging. This will help educate dental health-care providers in what steps they can take.

Learn this and much more in Kimberly and Annie's discussion.

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About the podcast

RDH Magazine Podcast is the community of voices you love from RDH magazine, brought to your podcast feed every week. You can expect to gain education and have the RDH magazine community in your ears to complement the content you enjoy online and in print each month.

About the Author

Kimberly A. Erdman, EdD, RDH, FAADH, FADHA

Kimberly A. Erdman, EdD, RDH, FAADH, FADHA, is a dental hygienist at Aspen Dental, as well as a PhD Methodologist at Liberty University. She loves providing top-notch patient care while also being able to teach and mentor students pursuing graduate health science work. Kimberly is a proud member and Inaugural Fellow of the American Dental Hygienists’ Association and a Fellow of the American Academy of Dental Hygiene.

About the Author

Annie Walters, MS, RDH

Annie Walters, MS, RDH, attended Northern Arizona University, where she spent time caring for individuals in Guatemala and Indian Health Service. She has a special interest in advancing access to care for individuals with specialized health-care needs. She’s a member of ADHA, and received her MS from the University of New Mexico, where she developed a chairside resource for RDHs to use for patients with specialized needs. She practices in Flagstaff, Arizona, and serves as part-time faculty at her alma mater. Contact her at [email protected].