Elder Abuse and Neglect for Dental Hygienists (disponible en Français)

Course Details

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  • CDHA member fee FREE
  • CDHA student member fee FREE
  • Non-member fee FREE

Note that course registration fees are non-refundable.

Course Description

The Canadian Dental Hygienists Association is pleased to introduce "Facing Abuse of Older Adults" as an addition to its collection of online professional development courses. The primary objective of this course is to increase the number of dental hygienists across the country who are knowledgeable in detecting, and confident in advocating against elder abuse and neglect.

Successful completion of this course will provide an enhanced understanding of the factors that are seen to explain abuse and neglect of older persons and why the problem persists in our society. The course will present a background of the causal dynamics found in families and institutions and explore the effects of discrimination and diversity, ethno cultural aspects and aboriginal concepts. This information will add to your self-confidence in recognizing and acting on possible situations of abuse or neglect of older clients.

Complimentary to this course is a three part webinar series.
Learn more.

More Course Information

Relevance to Practice

Dental hygienists are ethically and, in some cases, legally obligated to report suspected cases of older adult abuse and to advocate for their clients. Following recent changes in health care legislation, increasing numbers of dental hygienists across Canada are now able to provide mobile dental hygiene services to senior clients in their homes and retirement living centres. This means therefore, that dental hygienists are likely to see elderly clients on a frequent basis and are favourably situated to recognize and repond to abuse and neglect of older adults.

Format for Learning

This 6-hour course is composed of an introduction and four sections presented in a webinar on-demand format. The first module focuses on Awareness of Older Adult Abuse, the second module on Contributing Factors to Older Adult Abuse, the third emphasizes the Recognition of Older Adult Abuse and the final module concentrates on Taking Action Against Older Adult Abuse.

Dental hygienists view the on-demand webinar version of each module. At the beginning of each module, a pre test invites learners to complete up to five questions to self-evaluate one's current knowledge and to provide a sense of what to expect to learn by completing the module and the learning activities. The post test is completed at the end of the module and a comparison is made to self evaluate one's level of knowledge. The completion of the pre and post tests and the learning activities helps to prepare for taking the final multiple choice examination.


  1. Pre tests, post tests and quizzes are not marked - they are self-assessment tools to prepare you for writing the final examination.
  2. When you feel you are ready, you may take the final multiple choice examination. The results are computer-generated and the passing grade is 80%.
  3. You may take the examination for each course a maximum of two times to achieve this grade; however, each exam will be unique as questions are computer-generated on a rotational basis.
  4. You are expected to complete the examination without referring to the course materials.
  5. Once you achieve a passing score you will be able to print the Certificate of Completion. It is recommended that you print your certificate immediately after you have taken the courses and place them in a folder containing your professional development activities. Most dental hygiene regulatory authorities will require the certificate as verification of course completion.
  6. When you are ready you may take the final examination.

Alison Leaney, MSW, RSW

Alison Leaney is the National Project Coordinator for the Elder Abuse Theme Team's Knowledge to Action Project, of the National Initiative for the Care of the Elderly (NICE). Her role is to put evidence based tools in the hands of senior abuse responders. As a social worker, Alison has more than 15 years experience in the senior abuse field.

She is a former Chair of the Canadian Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse (CNPEA) and is one of two finalists for the Premier's Innovation and Excellence Legacy Award for the collaborative provincial approach she led at the Public Guardian and Trustee of BC and the BC Association of Community Response Networks to address adult abuse/neglect.

April Struthers, BA, MEd., RCC

April Struthers is an organizational consultant with clinical qualifications and a practice that ranges from BC to the UK. She works across sectors to develop anti-abusive workplaces and communities. April has an interest in prevention research generally and in developing approaches which are culturally safe for fist nations and aboriginal communities. She often works at the strategic level in the field of prevention of elder abuse has done national scans of activities in the field and authored a national strategy to combat abuse of older adults.

Brenda Leggett

Brenda Leggett has over twenty years of experience as a dental hygiene educator at Georgian College and Algonquin College. She has practised in community health as a dental hygiene administrator, and remains active as a clinical dental hygienist in private practice. For ten years, she has participated as an item writer for the National Dental Hygiene Certification Examination, and presently represents the central region of Canada on the National Dental Hygiene Certification Board's Examination Committee.

In addition, she is a College of Dental Hygienists of Ontario (CDHO) representative on the Commission on Dental Accreditation of Canada site-visit teams. Brenda is currently the Information Coordinator at CDHA. Brenda is a dental hygiene graduate of John Abbott College, holds an interdisciplinary BA in labour studies from Carleton University, and a library and information technician diploma from Algonquin College.

Laura Myers, RRDH, DipDH, BA(Psy.), MA(Ed.)

Laura Myers is a graduate of the dental hygiene program at John Abbott College, holds a BA in Psychology from Carleton University and a MA in Education - Adult Education and Training - from the University of Phoenix. She has more than 25 years of dental hygiene experience in education, administration, restorative, and community health, and remains active in clinical practice. Fluently bilingual, Laura was an educator at La Cité Collégiale and Algonquin College for 12 years. She was the Executive Director of the National Dental Hygiene Certification Board for more than 3 years. She has served as a council member of the College of Dental Hygienists of Ontario, a member of the Commission on Dental Accreditation of Canada site visit teams, a member of the National Dental Hygiene Certification Board's Examination Committee, and she was the francophone representative on the Board of Directors of Dental Hygiene Educators Canada. Laura is currently the Director of Education at the Canadian Dental Hygienists Association.

CANCELLATION POLICY: Please note that webinar registration fees are non-refundable and non-transferable

DISCLAIMER: Please note courses and on demand webinars cannot be completed on tablets and other mobile devices.