Patient Care, Aging Awareness Activity, Provider empathy
Studies show that there is a strong correlation between provider empathy and the quality of care given to patients. Provider bias, whether conscious or unconscious, can be life-changing for patients. The geriatric population is particularly vulnerable. The Aging Awareness Activity was created to help future healthcare providers understand the difficulties facing the geriatric population. Using hands-on tools to simulate hearing, visual, dexterity, and movement impairments allows for participants to practice activities of daily living with impairment similar to how a significantly aged adult would. We surveyed over 250 healthcare professional students before and after completing the Aging Awareness Activity to determine if our activity increased empathy towards the aging population. The results of this survey concluded that this activity heightened awareness and helped introduce or reinforce their knowledge of geriatric struggles. We hope that providing this type of hands-on experience will increase empathy towards the geriatric population and thus maintain or increase the quality of care for this vulnerable population by educating future healthcare providers.
Block, Heather; Block, Mariah; and Denning, Jose, "Aging Awareness Activity to Promote Provider Empathy and its Effects on Patient Care" (2021). IdeaFest. 284.