Gerontology Online Certificate Course

Enhance the Knowledge and Skills of Individuals Who Work with Older Adults

Gerontology Online Certificate Course

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Be knowledgeable, skilled, and committed professional in the field of gerontology

Our Gerontology Online Course represents a specialization in the field of gerontology. It is designed to enhance the knowledge and skills of individuals who work with older adults by providing an educational experience that is multidisciplinary in nature.

With the population aging at a rapid rate, the number of individuals over 65 will more than double by 2020. The demand for knowledgeable providers to meet the needs of this population is dramatically increasing, new jobs are being developed, and new services created. Health professionals who work with the older population will need continuing professional education to gain a broad understanding of the field of gerontology and to stay current with emerging trends.

The Gerontology Online Course distinguishes you as a knowledgeable, skilled, and committed professional in the field of gerontology.

What you will learn with our Gerontology Online Course

  • How to enhance your professional marketability
  • Building skills and competencies
  • How to fulfills your continuing education requirements as a professional
  • Develop an interdisciplinary perspective on aging

Career Opportunities:
This certification program provides you with the knowledge and skills to effectively meet the needs of the aging population in a wide range of careers. There are opportunities in nursing, teaching, service, administration, and research that focus on the needs and interests of older adults. These opportunities also exist within government programs and agencies; public and private institutions that provide health, education, and social services; research centers; special interest groups; colleges and universities; and corporate human resources divisions.

Participants:
This certificate is relevant for registered nurses, nurse practitioners, licensed vocational nurses, practical nurses, nursing assistants, social workers, occupational therapists, recreation therapists, physical therapists, respiratory therapists, administrators, psychologists, personal care assistants, volunteers, physicians, chiropractors, clergy, physical fitness professionals, adult children of aging parents, or any other individual currently working with or planning to work with older adults.

Gerontology Online Course Outline

Lesson 1: Introduction to Gerontology

Chapter 1: Course Description

For someone who is knowledgeable in the topic of gerontology, the possibilities are endless. A variety of positions in this field have evolved as a result of demographic shifts and changes in health care. The characteristics of older persons, the sociology of aging, theories of aging, stereotypes, and ageism will all be discussed in this course.

Topics to be discussed include:

  • Course Objectives
  • Introduction

Chapter 2: Demographics

The United States is going through a demographic shift that is affecting every facet of life. The significant increase in the number of elderly people is an unprecedented phenomena. The elderly are the forerunners and trailblazers of a new stage of life; they will chart the way for future generations.

Topics to be discussed include:

  • Men vs. Women
  • Home Health Recipients
  • Nursing Home Residents

Chapter 3: The Sociology of Aging

The significant increase in the number of elderly people represents a societal phenomena that has never been experienced before in human history. Today's generations are the first in history to be reared with the expectation of living to a ripe old age. These people are the forerunners of a centuries-long longevity revolution.

Topics to be discussed include:

  • Changing Social Views on Aging
  • The Politics of Aging
  • The Medicalization of Old Age
  • Cultural Influences & Aging
  • Impact on Healthcare Providers

Chapter 4: Attitudes, Myths, and Stereotypes of Aging

 

Topics to be discussed include:

  • Major Stereotypes Reflecting Negative Prejudice Toward Older Adults
  • Discrimination and Older Adults
  • Attitudes of Healthcare Professionals
  • Strategies to Reduce Ageism

Chapter 5: Theories of Aging

The attitude of the healthcare professional is a significant aspect in delivering care for older individuals. The quality of care offered to the elderly is influenced by attitudes, incorrect views about aging, and negative stereotypes. For example, aging adult beliefs about sexuality may prohibit a nursing care pair from having the privacy they require for intimate expression.

Topics to be discussed include:

  • Sociologic Theories of Aging
  • Psychologic Theories of Aging
  • Spiritual Development Theory of Aging
  • Implications of Aging Theories

Chapter 6: Mental Health and Aging

Mental health is often misunderstood to be nothing more than the absence of mental disease, but it is so much more. As a result, mental health promotion should be a priority at all phases of life. Physical health and health maintenance may be influenced by an individual's financial resources available for health treatment.

Chapter 7: Wellness

Wellness is a multidimensional state of being that includes physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual elements. Even in chronic sickness or during the dying process, the wellness approach to healthy aging maintains that everyone has an optimum level of functioning.

Topics to be discussed include:

  • Nutrition and Aging
  • Physical Activity and the Aging Adult
  • Maintaining Social Relationships
  • Sexuality and the Older Adult
  • Screening Programs for the Older Adult
  • Examinations
  • Screening tests
  • Immunizations and the older adult

Chapter 8: Complementary and Alternative Health Care

There has been tremendous growth in the number of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) clinics and hospitals, the number of nursing and medical schools teaching CAM and integrative strategies, the number of researchers studying CAM and integrative interventions, and the number of people seeking CAM and integrative health care in the last two decades.

Topics to be discussed include:

  • Types of Complementary and Alternative Health Care

Chapter 9: Summary

The study of gerontology is expanding in tandem with the aging population. This is an exciting time for healthcare personnel who provide care to the elderly. Understanding the elements that lead to good aging and having a basic understanding of the aging process are essential for providing empathetic and healthcare services.

Lesson 2: Physiology of Aging

Chapter 1: Course Description

The number of older adults in the United States is higher than it has ever been, making this group one of the fastest-growing segments of the population. Healthcare practitioners must have a thorough awareness of the physiologic changes that come with aging in order to give proper treatment to older persons.

Topics to be discussed include:

  • Course Objectives
  • Introduction

Chapter 2: Aging Defined

Aging is characterized as a "universal and unavoidable natural physiologic process" that happens at both the cellular and molecular levels. It's the "time-dependent loss of structure... a gradual effect of 'wear and tear' on the body," according to the researchers.

Chapter 3: Aging and Health Care in the United States

Due to an aging population, rising life expectancy, numerous new scientific advances that can delay or eliminate life-threatening situations, and a growing focus on bioethical and legal issues surrounding life, disease, research, and death, healthcare in the United States is becoming increasingly complex.

Topics to be discussed include:

  • Important Terms

Chapter 4: Physical Assessment of the Older Adult

Aging brings about a slew of physiologic changes. The healthcare provider must be able to tell the difference between changes caused by pathologic processes and those caused by physiologic processes. As a result, a physical examination is an important part of the older client's care. The health assessment might take place in a variety of venues.

Chapter 6: The Endocrine System

The field of aging endocrine physiology is rapidly expanding, according to Meiner (2014). By the year 2000, the subspecialty of "endocrinology of aging" has expanded to include andropause, circadian dysrhythmias, DHEA replacement, erectile dysfunction, male osteoporosis, menopause, metabolic syndrome, diabetes, and thyroid illness.

Topics to be discussed include:

  • Age-Related Changes
  • Common Endocrine System Problems

Chapter 7: The Gastrointestinal System

The oral cavity, pharynx, esophagus, stomach, small intestine, large intestine, gallbladder, pancreas, and liver make up the gastrointestinal (GI) system. Because food offers the nutrients required for the body's basic activities, aging can have an impact on one's nutritional state as well as general health.

Topics to be discussed include:

  • Age-Related Changes
  • Common Gastrointestinal Problems

Chapter 8: The Immune System

Human survival depends on the immune system. It is made up of various organs, cells, and proteins, and it has a complicated relationship with the neurologic and endocrine systems. The immune system serves two main purposes.

Topics to be discussed include:

  • Age-Related Changes
  • Common Immune System Problems
  • Risk Factors

Chapter 9: The Integumentary System

The integumentary system is the body's biggest organ. It spans more than 3,000 square inches and weighs roughly 6 pounds on the average adult. One-third of the blood circulating in the body is dedicated to it. The skin is made up of tissue that is constantly changing and renewing.

Topics to be discussed include:

  • Age-Related Changes
  • Common Integumentary System Problems
  • Risk Factors

Chapter 10: The Musculoskeletal System

Bones, muscles, tendons, ligaments, joints, and bursae make up the musculoskeletal system. This system gives the human form structure and, in conjunction with the neurologic system, allows it to move.

Topics to be discussed include:

  • Age-Related Changes
  • Common Musculoskeletal Problems
  • Risk Factors

Chapter 11: The Nervous System

The central nervous system (the brain and spinal cord) and the peripheral nervous system complex make up the nervous system, which analyzes sensory data, responds to the internal and external environment, controls and coordinates motor, emotional, and intellectual function, and regulates and communicates with other body systems.

Topics to be discussed include:

  • Age-Related Changes
  • Common Nervous System Problems
  • Delirium
  • Dementia
  • Alzheimer's Disease (AD)
  • Pain and Pain Perception
  • Additional Problems

Chapter 12: The Reproductive System

The female reproductive system consists of the breasts, uterus, ovaries, and fallopian tubes, whereas the male reproductive system consists of the penis, scrotum, and testes.

Topics to be discussed include:

  • Age-Related Changes
  • The Female Reproductive System
  • The Male Reproductive System
  • Common Reproductive System Problems

Chapter 13: The Respiratory System

The upper respiratory tract and the lower respiratory tract make up the respiratory system. The respiratory system, which is responsible for gas exchange between the environment and the lungs as well as cellular respiration between oxygen molecules and the cells, goes through several changes as it ages. The distinction between disease-related and aging-related changes is frequently obscured.

Topics to be discussed include:

  • Age-Related Changes
  • Common Respiratory System Problems
  • Risk Factors

Chapter 14: The Sensory System

Through the interpretation of inputs and interaction with the environment, the senses create a link to the outside world. There are also general and particular senses to consider.

Topics to be discussed include:

  • Age-Related Changes
  • Sight
  • Hearing
  • Smell and Taste
  • Touch

Chapter 15: The Urinary System

Bladder, ureters, and kidneys make up the urinary system. Urine production is the kidney's main function.

Topics to be discussed include:

  • Age-Related Changes
  • Common Urinary System Problems

Chapter 16: Summary

Client education is one of the most important functions of healthcare providers. It is a personal choice to live a healthy lifestyle. In order to help aging folks improve their physical and emotional health, it's critical to assess their situation and provide them with knowledge about diet, stress management, and lifestyle options.

Lesson 3: Mental Health and Aging

Chapter 1: Course Description

The vast expansion of the aged population has produced a critical societal challenge: the design and delivery of mental health care to the elderly. Because the aging population in the United States and throughout the world is expected to quickly grow, the need for geriatric mental health treatments is expected to skyrocket.

Topics to be discussed include:

  • Course Objectives

Chapter 2: Introduction

The vast expansion of the aged population has produced a critical societal challenge: the design and delivery of mental health care to the elderly. As the 76 million "baby boomers" approach 65 years of age, the senior population in the United States is expected to quickly expand between 2010 and 2030. Senior citizens will make up 20% of the population by 2030.

Chapter 3: Mental Health & Wellness Strategies

Maintaining mental health in older life requires continued intellectual, social, and physical activities throughout one's life. Mental health is often misunderstood to be nothing more than the absence of mental illness, but it is much more.

Chapter 4: Mental Health Disorders

Mental health disorders are illnesses that are marked by changes in one's thoughts, emotions, or behavior (or some combination thereof). They cause a slew of issues, including disability, pain, and death, and are linked to discomfort and/or decreased functioning. All diagnosable mental health illnesses are referred to collectively as mental illness.

Chapter 5: Depression

Depression is not a common side effect of growing older. Despite this, depression is a medical condition that is under-diagnosed and under-treated. Heart disease, stroke, diabetes, cancer, and Parkinson's disease are all common causes of depression.

Topics to be discussed include:

  • Theories of Depression
  • Symptoms of Depression in Older Adults
  • Depression and Co-Occurrence
  • Contributing Factors to Depression
  • Interventions
  • Treatment
  • Medication

Chapter 6: Suicide

Sadly, elderly people are more likely than younger people to take their own lives. Suicide is typically a precursor to clinical depression in this age range, which the National Institute of Mental Health (2016) defines as self-destructive behavior with the goal to take one's life.

Topics to be discussed include:

  • Risk Factors
  • Interventions

Chapter 7: Dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease

Dementia is a condition in which a person's intellectual abilities gradually deteriorate to the point that they interfere with social and vocational functioning. Alzheimer's disease (AD), vascular dementia (VaD), Lewy body dementia, and frontotemporal dementia are the most common kinds of dementia (FTD). Dementia affects around 35.8% of people over the age of 85.

Topics to be discussed include:

  • Symptoms
  • Diagnosis and Risk Factors
  • Interventions

Chapter 8: Anxiety

One of the most frequent disorders in older persons is anxiety. Anxiety disorders in older adults can arise as a result of a specific stressful incident or a general change, such as a decline in health, disease, financial strain, a change in living circumstances, retirement, or the death of a spouse or significant other.

Topics to be discussed include:

  • Interventions

Chapter 9: Alcohol Abuse

Alcoholism in elderly individuals may be an indication of various chronic and mental illnesses. It can also be challenging to spot. Anxiety, agitation, memory loss, melancholy, blackouts, confusion, weight loss, and falls are common symptoms among older persons who drink alcohol.

Topics to be discussed include:

  • Theories
  • Interventions

Chapter 10: Cultural, Competence, Diversity, and Mental Health

All cultures have symptoms of significant mental diseases. Because mental illness and mental health are frequently manifested via behavior, understanding cultural aspects is essential for understanding a client's behavior and developing culturally relevant interventions. Normal and deviant actions are both cultural manifestations, according to Meiner (2014).

Topics to be discussed include:

  • Diverse Ethnic Populations
  • African Americans
  • Asian American/Pacific Islander
  • Hispanic Americans
  • Native Americans

Chapter 11: Complementary and Alternative Medicine and Mental Health

Recovery and healing may be aided by a mental health therapy strategy that acknowledges the interrelationship between mind, body, and spirit.

Topics to be discussed include:

  • Self-Help
  • Diet & Nutrition
  • Pastoral Counseling
  • Expressive Therapies (Art, Dance, and Music Therapy)
  • Culturally Based Healing Arts
  • Relaxation & Stress Reduction Techniques

Chapter 12: Animal-Assisted Therapy and Mental Health

Animal-assisted therapy's use in health care skyrocketed in the 1980s and 1990s, and it's still on the rise. Clinical findings and new studies today confirm the age-old concept that an interaction between humans, animals, and the natural environment benefits to health and well-being (Pet Partners, 2017).

Topics to be discussed include:

  • The Purpose of Animal-Assisted Therapy Programs
  • Settings for Animal-Assisted Therapy Programs
  • The Mental Health Benefits of Animal-Assisted Therapy
  • Loneliness and Companion Animals

Chapter 13: Mental Health Resources and Supportive Services

Given the stigma and stereotypical views of mental health services held by older persons, alternatives to specialty mental health settings must be examined. Senior centers, communal meal locations, and other community settings where older persons congregate could be useful places to give mental health services to them.

Topics to be discussed include:

  • Limited Utilization of Services by the Elderly

Chapter 14: Trends: A Vision for the Future

A greater number of people will be treated at home. Programs are being developed by community organizations such as churches and congregations, senior citizens' groups, and other social organizations to help older people maintain their mental health by minimizing loneliness and sadness. Medical curricula will place a greater emphasis on gerontologic, geriatric, and geriatric-psychiatric topics.

Topics to be discussed include:

  • Initiatives in Mental Health & Aging

Chapter 15: Summary

Due to the difficulties in diagnosing and effectively treating mental disorders, health care providers are challenged to provide an effective assessment process, be aware of the most up-to-date treatments and resources, and provide current and timely preventive information to both aging adults and their caregivers.

Lesson 4: Healthy Aging

Chapter 1: Course Description

This course is aimed to provide a comprehensive, theoretically integrated view on healthy aging to health professionals. The learner will be able to address healthy aging in terms of cultural parallels and differences, complementary and alternative medicine, nutritional concerns, physical activity, fall prevention, sleep issues, and sexuality issues as a result of this course.

Topics to be discussed include:

  • Course Objectives
  • Introduction

Chapter 2: A Diverse Aging Population

To fulfill the requirements of a multigenerational, multicultural aging population, population patterns of aging, longevity, and diversity will necessitate new ways of thinking. The structure of healthcare delivery systems, the types of care provided, and how care is delivered, for example, necessitate new solutions that serve the specific needs of this diverse group of seniors.

Chapter 3: Ethnic Elders

Because ethnic elder cohorts are made up of so numerous subgroups with different cultural tendencies, it's difficult to draw judgments about them. The health profiles that follow will provide you an insight of the most common healthcare conditions that ethnic older people face (CDC, 2018c).

Topics to be discussed include:

  • Black/African American Elderly
  • Hispanic American Elderly
  • Native American Elderly
  • Asian/Pacific Islander American Elderly

Chapter 4: Alternative and Complementary Healthcare

Approximately half of the population in the United States uses or has utilized alternative health care (National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health [NCCIH], 2018). The elderly American is no exception. Complementary therapies are used by about 55 percent of persons aged 65 and up.

Topics to be discussed include:

  • Types of Complementary and Alternative healthcare

Chapter 5: Nutrition and Aging

Heredity, environment, and lifestyle all play a role in the development of disease. However, the primary causes of death in the senior population have been linked to eating and drinking habits.

Chapter 6: Physical Activity and Aging

Physical activity is essential for excellent health, functional independence, and overall quality of life. It's an important part of aging well. Physical activity has numerous health benefits that last a lifetime. There is mounting evidence that regular aerobic activity, such as circuit training, cycling, jogging, swimming, or walking, can improve strength and endurance.

Topics to be discussed include:

  • Health Benefits of Physical Activity
  • Consider the following facts on physical activity
  • Sustained exercise among the middle-aged and elderly has demonstrated many benefits including the following
  • What Communities Can Do
  • Immunizations and the Older Adult
  • Vaccine Risks
  • Making Health a Priority

Chapter 7: Falls and the Older Person

As their bodies and minds change as a result of age, the elderly encounters a number of health and safety challenges. The risk of falling is one of the most serious dangers that older people face. Falls are the main cause of mortality in people aged 65 and up (CDC, 2018a).

Topics to be discussed include:

  • The Scope of the Problem
  • Fall Classification
  • Fall Prevention
  • Lighting
  • Floor and Hallway
  • Bathrooms
  • Stairways and Steps
  • Furniture
  • Storage

Chapter 8: Sleep and the Elderly

Sleep is "a natural, periodically recurring, physiologic condition of rest for the body and mind; sleep is a state of inactivity or repose that is required to be active," according to Meiner (2014). All human beings have two universals, opposing functions: sleep and activity. The natural sleep cycle begins to shift as people become older, resulting in fewer deep sleep periods.

Chapter 9: Sexuality and Aging

While many people do not equate sexuality with the elderly, love and closeness are essential throughout one's life. The idea that the elderly is too tired and feeble to care about sex is a frequent misunderstanding. One of the most common cultural myths about aging is that age-related physiological changes in the elderly have a negative impact on sexual function.

Topics to be discussed include:

  • Normal Physical Changes in Genital Functioning
  • Women
  • Men

Chapter 10: Social Activity and Aging

Throughout their lives, social, economic, and behavioral factors have an impact on the health of the elderly. Social support systems and social activities are important among these elements. When older persons interact socially with friends and family members, they are more likely to stay in the community and require less formal healthcare services (e.g., hospitalization or institutionalization).

Topics to be discussed include:

  • Lifelong Learning
  • Leisurely Pursuits
  • Second and Third Careers
  • Volunteerism

Chapter 11: Spirituality, Religion, and Aging

Religion is generally seen to be the material manifestation of spirituality: the organization, rituals, and practice of one's beliefs. It is a personal form of expressing spirituality based on creeds and community behaviors through affiliations, ceremonies, and rituals. Spirituality appeals to people of various faiths and affiliations.

Chapter 12: Summary

As the number of persons aged 65 and up in the United States rises, we face new difficulties and opportunities in every part of our society. New decisions must be made by policymakers, businesses, healthcare professionals, and families to address the requirements of our aging population. The elderly person has more opportunities than ever before to live a longer and healthier life.

Lesson 5: Pain Assessment and Management in the Older Adult

Chapter 1: Course Description

Pain is a manifestation of discomfort that affects people of all ages and populations. Healthcare practitioners must be knowledgeable in diagnosing pain, recognizing pain management beliefs, dealing with cultural challenges in pain management, and administering effective pain therapies to give quality care to aging persons.

Topics to be discussed include:

  • Course Objectives
  • Introduction

Chapter 2: Pain as a Priority

Pain is becoming more widely acknowledged as a national and international concern. Pain, for example, affects more Americans than diabetes, heart disease, and cancer combined (National Institutes of Health, 2013). Many of the world's largest health organizations have focused their attention on this problem in recent years.

Chapter 3: Pain Defined

Pain is a highly personal feeling that can be described in a variety of ways (Meiner, 2014; Miller, 2011).

Chapter 4: Pain and the Elderly

Understanding the entire impact of pain and how to manage it in the aging adult may need a review of some alarming data.

Chapter 5: Misconceptions About Pain

Let's start by dispelling some common pain myths. These myths may be believed by the person in pain, his or her family, or any member of the healthcare team, and they obstruct the proper assessment of pain (American Pain Society, 2018; Meiner, 2014).

Chapter 6: Physiology of Pain

Millions of nerve endings make up the nervous system, and pain activates them. Nociciceptors are specialized nerve endings that cause pain. They can be found in various regions of the body, including the skin, joints, muscle, fascia, viscera, and smooth muscle of the artery walls. Per square inch of skin on the human body, there are about 1,000 nociceptors.

Chapter 7: Types of Pain

Despite the fact that every pain employs the identical nociceptors, the placement of the sensitive fibers determines the type of pain a person feels.

Topics to be discussed include:

  • Superficial Pain
  • Visceral Pain
  • Somatic Pain
  • Pain as the Result of Metabolic Need or Metabolic Excess
  • Neuropathic Pain
  • Phantom Pain
  • Breakthrough Pain

Chapter 8: Pain Behaviors

Clients with pain will exhibit observable physiologic and behavioral indicators of distress, and these signs will serve as the foundation for pain evaluation, according to healthcare practitioners.

Chapter 9: Culture and Pain

Culture is a set of shared values, ideas, and understandings about the meanings of words and behaviors, as well as the appropriate ways to express them. Culture influences the beliefs and behaviors that members of a social group learn, share, and pass down. It gives you a way of seeing the world and dealing with it.

Topics to be discussed include:

  • Cultural Expressions of Pain
  • Cultural Expressions of Pain and Pain Assessment
  • Culture and Pain Management

Chapter 10: Pain Assessment

"Pain assessment begins when the nurse acknowledges and takes seriously the client's self-report of pain," wrote Meiner and Lueckenotte (2006, p. 309). Nurses, more than any other member of the healthcare team, play a critical role in the assessment and management of pain. They spend more time with patients than any other member of the team.

Topics to be discussed include:

  • Complete an Initial Assessment
  • Special Considerations
  • Determine the Client's Pain Level
  • Develop a Treatment Plan and Treat the Pain
  • Reassess the Client and Document the Results

Chapter 11: Barriers to Pain Management

The proper assessment and adequate management of pain in the aging adult is hampered by a variety of hurdles. Despite the lack of consensus on age-related changes in pain perception, many older clients and their families, as well as healthcare providers, think that pain is a normal aspect of aging and chronic disease. This misconception frequently leads to underreporting and mistreatment of mental health issues.

Topics to be discussed include:

  • Client Barriers
  • HealthCare Provider Barriers
  • Other Barriers
  • Possible Solutions to Overcoming Barriers

Chapter 12: Pharmacologic Management of Pain

There are an endless number of strategies to control pain with pharmacologic medication. This part will not go into great detail about pharmacology, but it will provide you an overview of the most regularly used pain drugs. For full information on this topic, the healthcare professional should reference a detailed pain management or pharmacology resource.

Topics to be discussed include:

  • Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs), COX-2 Inhibitors and Acetaminophen
  • Opioid Agonists
  • Side Effects of Opioid Agonists
  • Adjuvant Medications
  • Delivery Methods
  • Continuous IV Infusion
  • IV Bolus Administration
  • Patient-Controlled Analgesia
  • Intraspinal Pain Control

Chapter 13: Nonpharmacologic Management of Pain

Pain can be controlled in a variety of ways, in addition to or without of pharmaceutical methods. These techniques complement and enhance pharmaceutical management, and they are effective in older persons. The majority of nonpharmacologic techniques are only effective for minor pain. These methods must be used with pharmaceutical treatments in cases of moderate pain.

Topics to be discussed include:

  • Physical Methods
  • Nutrition and Pain Management
  • Spirituality and Pain
  • The Future

Chapter 14: Summary

The ability to ensure customer comfort is one of the most difficult tasks in healthcare. Every client has the right to the most effective pain relief that can be given in a safe manner. Many misconceptions about pain, its assessment, and treatment may exist among clients, their families, and healthcare providers. It will be beneficial to have a basic awareness of the facts as well as education on current research and techniques.

Lesson 6: Death and Dying

Chapter 1: Course Description

What is grief, exactly? What are the typical reactions to grief? What goes into the final phase of life—death? These are some of the topics covered in this course. Culture's involvement in death and dying will be discussed, as well as palliative and hospice care, advance directives, and spirituality's role. Interactions, healing practices, and rituals that rely on the senses to provide comfort and peace.

Topics to be discussed include:

  • Course Objectives
  • Introduction

Chapter 2: The Grieving Process

Loss is an inevitable aspect of growing older and living. Retirement, downsizing from a large home to a smaller home or senior living facility, changes in activity level, and transitioning from health to illness, marriage to widowhood, and from large social networks to smaller circles of friends and relatives are all common transitional losses associated with aging, according to Meiner (2014).

Topics to be discussed include:

  • What Is Grief?
  • What Are the Different Stages of Grief?
  • How Long Does Grief Last?
  • What Are the Different Ways of Expressing Grief?
  • When Do You Seek Counseling?
  • How Do You Cope With Grief?

Chapter 3: Normal Grief Responses

Psychologically, physiologically, socially, and spiritually, grief manifests itself. Various aspects of normal grief responses are listed below (Doka, 2016; Meiner, 2014).

Topics to be discussed include:

  • Psychological Responses
  • Physical Symptoms
  • Social Changes
  • Spiritual Issues

Chapter 4: Individual Cultural Beliefs and Ethnic Traditions

A person's perspective on death is influenced by their culture. Despite the fact that death is a universal human experience, there are cultural concerns when a loved one passes away (Lobar, Youngblut, & Brooten, 2006; Meiner, 2014). Some Native Americans believe in "good" and "bad" deaths. After a full life, a good death occurs.

Chapter 5: The Process of Dying for Older Adults

The moral, social, and legal difficulties surrounding death are especially relevant to older people, their families, and the health-care professionals who give care during the most difficult of times (Kapp, 2009). Although there is no unanimity on when the dying phase begins, the quality of dying refers to the time leading up to death (Hales, 2010).

Topics to be discussed include:

  • Psychologic Aspects
  • Spiritual Aspects
  • Social Aspects
  • Physical Aspects

Chapter 6: Advance Directives

 

Topics to be discussed include:

  • Living Will
  • Durable Power of Attorney
  • Do-Not-Resuscitate Order
  • Physician Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment (POLST)

Chapter 7: Palliative Care vs. Hospice Care

In 1991, the Patient Self-Determination Act was signed into law, requiring all healthcare facilities receiving Medicare or Medicaid reimbursement to acknowledge advance directives. In the event that a person is unable to make decisions, these documents serve as a guide for their families and healthcare providers (Meiner, 2014: National Institutes of Health [NIH], 2018).

Topics to be discussed include:

  • The Differences
  • Palliative Care
  • Hospice Care

Chapter 8: Discontinuation of Ventilator Support

Discontinuing ventilator support entails honoring the patient's and family's preferences, encouraging staff involvement, enlisting the help of an interdisciplinary team, and allotting appropriate time in the decision-making process for financial considerations. When it comes to ventilators and hospice care, there are some rules to follow.

Chapter 9: Management of Pain

For many seriously ill and terminally ill people, suffering can be unbearable. These individuals can be made comfortable during their final days thanks to significant breakthroughs in pain management (Wilkie & Ezenwa, 2012). Unrelieved pain affects from 52 percent to 77 percent of cancer patients globally.

Topics to be discussed include:

  • The "Double Effect"
  • Total Sedation
  • Management of Nonpain Symptoms
  • Signs of Imminent Death

Chapter 10: Advantages and Disadvantages of Dying at Home

Individuals and their families are free to do whatever they want because their routines and timetables are flexible. Family, friends, and pets are always willing to lend a helping hand. The capacity to cook meals simplifies the process of preparing what the individual enjoys.

Chapter 11: Interactions with a Dying Person

Death isn't just a medical occurrence. It is a time for all parties involved to exchange love, reconcile, and transform. Loved ones of the dying person can become compassionate companions and assist them on their journey. The death of each individual is as distinct as their birth. There is no one-size-fits-all guide for every case, but the following suggestions may be useful to family members.

Topics to be discussed include:

  • Relate to the Person
  • Be Attentive
  • Demonstrate Compassion
  • Create a Calm Environment

Chapter 12: Healing Strategies

It's critical to spend the final months, weeks, or days in a way that meets the needs of the dying loved one's family, friends, and caregivers. Some people may desire to spend time conversing or just being together.

Topics to be discussed include:

  • Engage in Journal Writing
  • Organize Family Photos
  • Gather Together a Collection of Favorite Things
  • Plant a Memory Garden
  • Interact With a Pet
  • Take Short Trips
  • Use Music Therapy
  • Use Art Therapy
  • Take a Spiritual Assessment

Chapter 13: The Use of the Senses in Rituals for the Dying

The senses of touch, odor, taste, sight, and hearing are all vital in the creation of rituals for the dying.

Chapter 14: Spiritual Dimensions of Death and Dying

Individuals try to find or make sense of life when they are aware of their impending mortality. Most people, on the other hand, have done little to prepare for death emotionally, physically, or spiritually. Spiritual and religious ideas help older people make sense of their life.

Topics to be discussed include:

  • Spiritual Needs of the Dying
  • The Moment of Death

Chapter 15: Summary

Each person's loss and dying experience is different. The care and support for older persons who are dying will improve as knowledge of the issues surrounding death and dying grows and good attitudes are promoted. It is critical to assist the dying individual in making the transition from life to death in a peaceful manner.

Lesson 7: Sleep and Aging

Chapter 1: Course Description

A healthy, productive existence necessitates sleep. While sleep disorders and changes affect us all as we age, older persons experience a slew of sleep-related changes that can have a negative impact on their physical and mental health. The learner should be able to describe the typical stages of sleep, common sleep measurement instruments, sleep features, and common sleep disorders as a result of this course.

Topics to be discussed include:

  • Course Objectives
  • Introduction

Chapter 2: The Stages of Sleep

It's crucial to understand the basic stages (or "architecture") of sleep before looking into sleep disorders or how age impacts sleep. During a typical 8-hour period of sleep, two separate brain states, or "sleep architecture," coexist.

Topics to be discussed include:

  • REM sleep is the dream stage of sleep.

Chapter 3: Sleep Characteristics

Over the course of our lives, our sleeping habits vary. Infants and children, for example, have a high sleep requirement, but most people require 7 to 8 hours of sleep per day. The amount of sleep required varies by individual, however it is described as the amount of sleep that allows an individual to function throughout the day without becoming tired or losing concentration.

Chapter 4: Sleep Measurement Tools

The stages of sleep can be identified by observing a person's behavior, but the most effective way to study these stages and the intricacy of sleep is to record many tests continuously and simultaneously.

Topics to be discussed include:

  • Polysomnograph
  • Multiple Sleep Latency Test

Chapter 5: Sleep Disorders

Changes in sleeping patterns or habits are considered sleep disorders. Excessive daytime sleepiness, uneven breathing or increased activity while sleeping, difficulties sleeping, and aberrant sleep patterns are all signs and symptoms of sleep disorders (Mayo Clinic, 2018).

Topics to be discussed include:

  • Insomnia
  • Sleep Apnea
  • Circadian Rhythm Disorders
  • Narcolepsy
  • Periodic Limb Movements Disorder (PLMD)
  • Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS)
  • Parasomnias

Chapter 6: Sleep Changes with Aging

As we become older, our bodies go through a lot of changes. Many of them occur gradually. Our hearing and vision deteriorate, and our memories may become hazy. Similarly, our sleeping habits shift. While our desire for sleep remains constant, getting a good night's sleep may become more difficult as we get older. Sleep disturbances in the elderly are not a typical aspect of the aging process.

Chapter 7: Other Problems Affecting Sleep

A variety of other issues confront aging folks, all of which have an impact on the quality and quantity of sleep they get.

Topics to be discussed include:

  • Stress
  • Pain and Discomfort
  • Menopause
  • Environmental Factors
  • Hospitalization or Institutionalization
  • Diet
  • Psychological Factors

Chapter 8: Treatment Options

Individualized treatments for sleep disorders exist. Simple remedies, such as food adjustments, lifestyle changes, or improving the sleeping environment, are all possibilities. It is critical to evaluate each particular case because what works for one person may not work for another.

Topics to be discussed include:

  • Physical Examination
  • Sleep Hygiene
  • Other Remedies
  • Medications
  • Further Testing
  • Sleep Education

Chapter 9: Summary

A healthy, productive existence necessitates sleep. While all of us have sleep disorders and changes as we get older, older persons experience a slew of sleep-related alterations that can have a negative impact on their physical and mental health. The role of healthcare practitioners is crucial. They can teach older folks about the stages of sleep and help them recognize common sleep disorders.

Lesson 8: The Older Woman

Chapter 1: Course Description

The population of the United States is aging, and the majority of those over the age of 65 are women. The elder woman of today belongs to a heterogeneous population with varying levels of income, education, health, functional skills, living arrangements, and support services. Women have particular economic, social, and physical issues since they live longer than men.

Topics to be discussed include:

  • Course Objectives
  • Introduction

Chapter 2: Demographic Trends and Projections

The population of the United States is aging, and the majority of those over the age of 65 are women. The phrase "feminization of later life" describes how women prevail in older age groups and how their proportions rise with age (Giddens, 2014). Widowhood is common among elderly women as a result of this.

Topics to be discussed include:

  • Global Demographics

Chapter 3: Centenarians

Americans have been obsessed with longevity since Ponce de Leon's hunt for the elixir of youth over 500 years ago. New medical discoveries and technology, such as drugs, organ transplants, life-prolonging devices, the emergence of preventative medicine, and an emphasis on wellness, have aided this pursuit for longevity and the good health that comes with it.

Topics to be discussed include:

  • Economic Concerns of Older Women
  • Social Security
  • What Does the Future Hold in Store?

Chapter 4: Healthcare Issues of Older Women

The majority of elderly women are unemployed, work part-time, or work in areas that do not provide health benefits. As a result, they are frequently without personal health insurance. This makes them reliant on their spouse's plan and exposes them to risk in the case of a separation or divorce, or if their spouse retires, loses their job, or dies.

Topics to be discussed include:

  • Preventive Care
  • Long-Term Care
  • The Future

Chapter 5: Elderly Women as Caregivers

A youthful person caring for a sick or crippled old person is the traditional image of a caregiver providing care to an elderly person. This image is frequently correct. Not all caretakers, though, are young. Many of them are older or elderly, and they may not only provide but also receive care.

Chapter 6: Social Issues

Social variables can have a significant impact on an older woman's health. For this demographic, housing and living arrangements, transportation concerns, education, and support networks are all critical.

Topics to be discussed include:

  • Housing & Living Arrangements
  • Transportation Systems
  • Education
  • Support Systems

Chapter 7: Special Health Considerations of the Older Woman

In the United States, women's life expectancy has roughly doubled in the last century.

Topics to be discussed include:

  • Cancer
  • Lung Cancer
  • Colorectal Cancer
  • Stroke
  • Osteoporosis
  • Urinary Incontinence (UI)
  • Skin Conditions
  • Sexuality, Intimacy, and The Older Woman

Chapter 8: HIV/AIDS

In the United States, an estimated 17% of HIV-positive people are 50 or older (Meiner, 2014). This reflects a small rise over the previous few years.

Topics to be discussed include:

  • Emerging Infections

Chapter 9: Summary

While older women are more likely to live alone, be poor, and have greater rates of chronic illness and disability than older males, certain trends suggest that this will change in the future.

Lesson 9: Elder Abuse

Chapter 1: Course Description

Older folks today are more vivacious, independent, and healthier than their forefathers. However, as the world's population grows, so does the problem of caring for the elderly. Caregivers must often deal with stressful economic and personal burdens when caring for the elderly, who may be abused, exploited, or neglected as a result of this stress.

Topics to be discussed include:

  • Course Objectives
  • Introduction

Chapter 2: The Prevalence of Abuse

When iconic 90-year-old actor Mickey Rooney appeared before the Senate in 2010 about alleged abuse he'd undergone at the hands of a family member, many Americans were stunned. He was well-dressed and alert as he told a terrifying story about betrayal and loss.

Topics to be discussed include:

  • Theories of Elder Abuse

Chapter 3: Who Is Most Likely to be Abused?

Anyone can be abused by an elder, but those with mental or physical disabilities are more vulnerable.

Topics to be discussed include:

  • Profile of the Abuser

Chapter 4: What Is Abuse?

Elder abuse is defined as a physical or mental act that threatens or harms an aged person, whether via action or inaction (Luggen & Meiner, 2001). In 1987, the Amendments to the Older Americans Act included the first federal definitions of elder abuse, neglect, and exploitation.

Chapter 5: Categories of Abuse

Topics to be discussed include:

  • Institutional Elder Abuse
  • Self-Neglect
  • Domestic Elder Abuse

Chapter 6: Types of Elder Abuse

Topics to be discussed include:

  • Physical Abuse
  • Neglect
  • Abandonment
  • Emotional or Psychological Abuse
  • Financial or Fiduciary Abuse
  • Sexual Abuse

Chapter 7: Why Does Elder Abuse Occur?

Elder abuse can occur for a variety of causes, much like other violent crimes. Elder abuse is caused by a mix of psychological, social, and economic circumstances, as well as the mental and physical status of the victim and offender.

Chapter 8: The Role of Culture in Elder Abuse

In family life, cultural values, beliefs, and traditions play an important influence.

Chapter 9: Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Elder Abuse

When most people think of homosexuals—gay men and lesbians—they think of sexuality, because homosexuals and heterosexuals are distinguished by sexuality. Bringing the topic of gay and lesbian elder abuse to the forefront of healthcare is exceedingly challenging because most cultures regard sexuality as a private concern, and elder abuse is often a private issue among families.

Chapter 10: Healthcare Provider Responsibilities

Topics to be discussed include:

  • Detecting Abuse
  • Reporting Abuse
  • Documenting Abuse
  • Professional and Legal Issues

Chapter 11: Taking Action Against Elder Abuse

Topics to be discussed include:

  • First Steps
  • Elder Education
  • Healthcare Providers
  • Screening
  • Family Education
  • Public and Societal Education

Chapter 12: Summary

Elder abuse is becoming more common. As a result, it's critical for healthcare providers to detect the signs and symptoms of different types of abuse and intervene as soon as possible. Everyone deserves to be treated with dignity and respect. There is no exception for the old client.

Lesson 10: Aging & Disorders of Communication

Chapter 1: Course Description

All human beings are linked by communication. Individuals' ability to comprehend information through their senses is frequently distorted or weakened as they get older. Sensory changes as people get older have an impact on their quality of life and communication. Families must be aware of the sometimes-silent process of sensory degeneration in their aging relatives, and aging persons must compensate for these changes.

Topics to be discussed include:

  • Course Objectives
  • Introduction

Chapter 2: Disorders of Language and Speech

The term "communication disorders" refers to a variety of language, speech, and hearing issues. An impairment in the ability to receive, send, process, and grasp concepts or spoken, nonverbal, or visual symbol systems is known as a communication disorder. Hearing, language, and/or speech functions can all be affected by a communication disorder, which can range in severity from mild to severe.

Topics to be discussed include:

  • Voice Disorders
  • Disorders of Vocal Abuse and Misuse
  • Vocal Cord Paralysis
  • Fluency Problems
  • Aphasia

Chapter 3: Disorders of Hearing

Hearing loss is a physiological, psychological, and anatomical condition that affects the capacity to receive, interpret, and process sound waves accurately. Hearing sensitivity affects around 20% of people in the United States aged 12 and up. As the baby boomers approach retirement age, this number is likely to skyrocket (Johns Hopkins Medicine, 2011).

Topics to be discussed include:

  • How We Hear
  • Causes of Hearing Loss
  • Age-Related Hearing Changes
  • Types of Hearing Loss
  • The Degree and Configuration of Hearing Loss

Chapter 4: Other Causes of Communication Disorders

Other circumstances, in addition to the ones mentioned thus far, can lead to communication problems. Traumatic brain injuries, cerebrovascular accidents (CVAs), and noise-induced environmental ailments are among them.

Topics to be discussed include:

  • Traumatic Brain Injuries
  • Cerebrovascular Accident (CVA)
  • Environmental Noise

Chapter 5: Effective Interventions for Those With Communication Disorders

There are several possibilities for efficient communication for people with communication difficulties and their families. Augmentative and alternative communication, sign language, assistive listening devices (ALDs), cochlear implants, and adult aural rehabilitation are some of the options available. This section will go over each of them briefly.

Topics to be discussed include:

  • Augmentation and Alternative Communication (AAC)
  • Key Terms
  • Common Symbols of Language
  • Transmission Techniques
  • Selection Techniques
  • Sign Language
  • Assistive Listening Devices (ALDs)
  • Cochlear Implants
  • Adult Aural Rehabilitation

Chapter 6: The Role of the Healthcare Provider in Detecting and Preventing Communication Disorders

The healthcare professional, particularly the nurse, nurse practitioner, and physician, is in a unique position to aid in the early detection of hearing loss or language and communication deficiencies through hearing tests. The goal is to conduct a comprehensive investigation.

Chapter 7: Summary

Communication is an essential component of our social selves, as it connects all people. Individuals with communication disorders, such as speech, language, and hearing difficulties, can experience rage, frustration, and social isolation.

Chapter 1: Course Description

Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a disease in which one's memories, independence, capacity to recognize loved ones, and dignity are all lost. AD, also known as "the long goodbye," is the most common type of dementia, impacting millions of people in the United States.

Topics to be discussed include:

  • Course Objectives

Chapter 2: Introduction

Alzheimer's disease (AD) has been called one of the most major health and social crises of the twenty-first century, preventing many older persons and their families from enjoying their "Golden Years." According to the World Alzheimer Report 2016 (Alzheimer's Disease International, 2016), Alzheimer's disease and other dementias have the potential to cause global social and economic upheavals.

Topics to be discussed include:

  • Global Statistics
  • United States Statistics

Chapter 3: What is Alzheimer’s Disease?

During a scientific meeting, Dr. Alzheimer first described Alzheimer's disease when he described the case of "Frau Auguste D," a 51-year-old woman whose husband noted her memory problems, difficulty speaking and understanding what he said to her, disorientation, hallucinations, behavioral problems, and unfounded suspicions that he was unfaithful. In the spring of 1906, she succumbed to her illness.

Chapter 4: The Brain

The brain is a wonderful organ. The human brain can function well into its tenth decade in the absence of sickness. The brain is made up of three pieces, each weighing around 3 pounds (the size of a medium cauliflower) and having a texture akin to solid jelly (NIA, 2017).

Chapter 5: The Brain and Normal Healthy Aging

While healthy older persons may experience some deterioration in mental function, adults can typically increase in other cognitive areas such as vocabulary and other forms of verbal knowledge. Growing evidence of the older brain's adaptive ("plastic") capabilities is emerging. "Use it or lose it" can refer to more than just our skeletal muscles.

Chapter 6: What Causes Alzheimer’s Disease?

AD wreaks havoc on vital metabolic systems that keep brain neurons alive and well. When neurons stop functioning properly, they lose their connections with other nerve cells and die. Memory loss, personality changes, and trouble with activities of daily living (ADL) are all symptoms of this damage and consequent cell death (NIA, 2017).

Topics to be discussed include:

  • Risk Factors Associated with AD

Chapter 7: Brain Changes in Alzheimer’s Disease

Nobody knows what triggers the physiological changes that lead to Alzheimer's disease, or why some typical aging brain processes become more intense and harmful in some people but not in others. Alzheimer's disease progresses at a different rate for everyone. People with Alzheimer's disease live an average of 8 years, but others can live up to 20.

Topics to be discussed include:

  • Preclinical Disease (No Cognitive Impairment or Symptoms)
  • Mild Cognitive Impairment (Moderate Alzheimer's Disease)
  • Severe Cognitive Decline (Severe AD)

Chapter 8: Making an Accurate Diagnosis: Differentiating Between Dementia, Depression, and Alzheimer’s Disease

Although the stages and symptoms of Alzheimer's disease have been thoroughly explained in the preceding sections, the symptoms of Alzheimer's disease are sometimes confused with those of other disorders. Dementia and depression are two diseases (or types of disorders) that are frequently confused with Alzheimer's disease. It's difficult to tell the difference between them, but it's crucial for patients, their families, and their loved ones.

Topics to be discussed include:

  • Dementia

Chapter 9: Diagnostic Techniques for Alzheimer’s Disease

There are numerous methods for diagnosing Alzheimer's disease and other dementias. It's crucial to be able to rule out depression as well as other diseases or ailments like vitamin B12 deficiency. Early detection of Alzheimer's disease is crucial for patients and their families because it allows them to more effectively manage symptoms and make informed decisions about the future (NINDS, 2014).

Topics to be discussed include:

  • Comprehensive History
  • Physical Examination
  • Cognitive and Neurological Evaluation
  • Brain Scans
  • Laboratory Tests
  • Psychiatric Evaluation
  • Presymptomatic Testing

Chapter 10: One the Diagnosis is Made- What Next?

When people and/or their families learn that they or a loved one has Alzheimer's disease, their feelings might range from relief (at finally having a definite diagnosis) to anger, dread, and anxiety. "Now what?" is invariably the following question. There are currently no particular treatments available to reverse or slow the progression of the disease.               

Chapter 11: Components of Care

According to the Alzheimer's Association (2017g), although geriatric Americans make up a small percentage of the population, they account for nearly a quarter of all physician office visits, over a third of all prescriptions, nearly half of all emergency medical responses/calls, and almost all nursing home residents.

Topics to be discussed include:

  • General Safety Concerns
  • Personal Hygiene Issues
  • Psychosocial and Spiritual Support
  • Communicating with AD Patients
  • Companionship, Intimacy, and Sexuality
  • Managing Behavior and Sensory Concerns
  • Activities of Daily Living (ADL)
  • Caring for the Person with End-Stage Alzheimer's Disease

Chapter 12: Integrative Health Approaches to Alzheimer’s Disease and Other Dementias

Integrative health treatments to the behavioral and clinical elements of Alzheimer's disease and other dementias are gaining popularity. Some of the medicines discussed have solid scientific evidence supporting their efficacy, while others have mixed or contradictory data. For your convenience, we've summarized a few of them below.

Chapter 13: Family and Caregiver Support

One of the most difficult aspects of Alzheimer's disease is the physical and emotional toll it takes on family members, caregivers, and friends of those who have the condition. These people must deal with personality changes, the need to provide consistent, loving attention for years, and the demands of providing personal, intimate care such as bathing, toilet

The Certificate in Gerontology consists of a total of 11 lessons:

Lesson 1 - Introduction to Gerontology
Opportunities are unlimited for the individual who knows the field of gerontology. Demographic changes and changes in health care have influenced the development of a variety of gerontologic roles.

Lesson 2 - Physiology of Aging
There are more older adults in the United States than ever before in history, making this segment one of the fastest-growing portions of the population. The appropriate care of older adults requires health care providers to have a solid understanding of the physiologic changes that accompany aging.

Lesson 3 - Mental Health and Aging
This lesson provides health care professionals with an overview of mental health and aging, including mental health wellness strategies, mental health disorders, cultural competence, cultural diversity, complementary and alternative medicine treatments, animal-assisted therapy and mental health, mental health resources, and trends in mental health and aging.

Lesson 4 - Healthy Aging
This lesson introduces the health professional to a broad, conceptually integrated perspective on the topic of healthy aging.

Lesson 5 - Pain Assessment and Management in the Older Adult
Pain is a symptom that signals distress in virtually every population and every age. To provide quality care to aging adults, health care providers must be particularly skilled at assessing pain, understanding misconceptions of pain management, addressing cultural issues in pain management, and providing effective pain therapies.

Lesson 6 - Death and Dying
What is grief? What are normal grief responses? What is involved in the final life transition—death? These are some of the questions that will be discussed in this course. The role of culture, palliative and hospice care, advance directives, and the role of spirituality in death and dying will be described. Interactions, healing strategies, and rituals that use the senses and bring comfort and peace for the dying will also be explored.

Lesson 7 - Sleep and Aging
Sleep is essential to a healthy, productive life. Sleep disorders and changes affect people as they age and older adults undergo many sleep-related changes that can affect their physical and psychological well-being.

Lesson 8 - The Older Woman
America is growing older and most older Americans are women. Today's older woman is part of a diverse group that varies in income, education level, health, functional abilities, living arrangements, and access to support services. Because women live longer than men, they face unique economic, social, and health challenges.

Lesson 9 - Elder Abuse
Older adults today are vibrant, independent, living longer, and in better health than their ancestors. However, as this growing population increases, so does the issue of caring for elderly individuals. Caregivers must often cope with stressful economic and personal burdens when caring for the elderly who pay the price for this stress and may be abused, exploited, or neglected.

Lesson 10 - Aging & Disorders of Communication
Communication links all human beings together. As individuals age, their ability to perceive information through their senses is often distorted or impaired. Age-related sensory changes impact the quality of life and the quality of communication. Aging adults must compensate for these changes and families must be sensitive to the often-silent process of sensory deterioration in their aging family member.

Lesson 11 - Alzheimer's Disease: Mysteries and Possibilities
Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a condition in which the concept of loss is central—the loss of one's memories, independence, ability to recognize loved ones, and dignity. Often referred to as "the long goodbye," AD is the most common type of dementia, affecting millions of Americans. It is responsible for billions of dollars annually in health care costs; however, new research is providing hope for those with Alzheimer's disease as well as for their families and caregivers.

Entry requirements

Students must have basic literacy and numeracy skills.

Minimum education

Open entry. Previous schooling and academic achievements are not required for entry into this course.

Computer requirements

Students will need access to a computer and the internet.

Minimum specifications for the computer are:

Windows:

  • Microsoft Windows XP, or later
  • Modern and up to date Browser (Internet Explorer 8 or later, Firefox, Chrome, Safari)

MAC/iOS

  • OSX/iOS 6 or later
  • Modern and up to date Browser (Firefox, Chrome, Safari)

All systems

  • Internet bandwidth of 1Mb or faster
  • Flash player or a browser with HTML5 video capabilities(Currently Internet Explorer 9, Firefox, Chrome, Safari)

Students will also need access the following applications:

Adobe Acrobat Reader

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About this Course

Be knowledgeable, skilled, and committed professional in the field of gerontology

Our Gerontology Online Course represents a specialization in the field of gerontology. It is designed to enhance the knowledge and skills of individuals who work with older adults by providing an educational experience that is multidisciplinary in nature.

With the population aging at a rapid rate, the number of individuals over 65 will more than double by 2020. The demand for knowledgeable providers to meet the needs of this population is dramatically increasing, new jobs are being developed, and new services created. Health professionals who work with the older population will need continuing professional education to gain a broad understanding of the field of gerontology and to stay current with emerging trends.

The Gerontology Online Course distinguishes you as a knowledgeable, skilled, and committed professional in the field of gerontology.

What you will learn with our Gerontology Online Course

  • How to enhance your professional marketability
  • Building skills and competencies
  • How to fulfills your continuing education requirements as a professional
  • Develop an interdisciplinary perspective on aging

Career Opportunities:
This certification program provides you with the knowledge and skills to effectively meet the needs of the aging population in a wide range of careers. There are opportunities in nursing, teaching, service, administration, and research that focus on the needs and interests of older adults. These opportunities also exist within government programs and agencies; public and private institutions that provide health, education, and social services; research centers; special interest groups; colleges and universities; and corporate human resources divisions.

Participants:
This certificate is relevant for registered nurses, nurse practitioners, licensed vocational nurses, practical nurses, nursing assistants, social workers, occupational therapists, recreation therapists, physical therapists, respiratory therapists, administrators, psychologists, personal care assistants, volunteers, physicians, chiropractors, clergy, physical fitness professionals, adult children of aging parents, or any other individual currently working with or planning to work with older adults.

Gerontology Online Course Outline

Lesson 1: Introduction to Gerontology

Chapter 1: Course Description

For someone who is knowledgeable in the topic of gerontology, the possibilities are endless. A variety of positions in this field have evolved as a result of demographic shifts and changes in health care. The characteristics of older persons, the sociology of aging, theories of aging, stereotypes, and ageism will all be discussed in this course.

Topics to be discussed include:

  • Course Objectives
  • Introduction

Chapter 2: Demographics

The United States is going through a demographic shift that is affecting every facet of life. The significant increase in the number of elderly people is an unprecedented phenomena. The elderly are the forerunners and trailblazers of a new stage of life; they will chart the way for future generations.

Topics to be discussed include:

  • Men vs. Women
  • Home Health Recipients
  • Nursing Home Residents

Chapter 3: The Sociology of Aging

The significant increase in the number of elderly people represents a societal phenomena that has never been experienced before in human history. Today's generations are the first in history to be reared with the expectation of living to a ripe old age. These people are the forerunners of a centuries-long longevity revolution.

Topics to be discussed include:

  • Changing Social Views on Aging
  • The Politics of Aging
  • The Medicalization of Old Age
  • Cultural Influences & Aging
  • Impact on Healthcare Providers

Chapter 4: Attitudes, Myths, and Stereotypes of Aging

 

Topics to be discussed include:

  • Major Stereotypes Reflecting Negative Prejudice Toward Older Adults
  • Discrimination and Older Adults
  • Attitudes of Healthcare Professionals
  • Strategies to Reduce Ageism

Chapter 5: Theories of Aging

The attitude of the healthcare professional is a significant aspect in delivering care for older individuals. The quality of care offered to the elderly is influenced by attitudes, incorrect views about aging, and negative stereotypes. For example, aging adult beliefs about sexuality may prohibit a nursing care pair from having the privacy they require for intimate expression.

Topics to be discussed include:

  • Sociologic Theories of Aging
  • Psychologic Theories of Aging
  • Spiritual Development Theory of Aging
  • Implications of Aging Theories

Chapter 6: Mental Health and Aging

Mental health is often misunderstood to be nothing more than the absence of mental disease, but it is so much more. As a result, mental health promotion should be a priority at all phases of life. Physical health and health maintenance may be influenced by an individual's financial resources available for health treatment.

Chapter 7: Wellness

Wellness is a multidimensional state of being that includes physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual elements. Even in chronic sickness or during the dying process, the wellness approach to healthy aging maintains that everyone has an optimum level of functioning.

Topics to be discussed include:

  • Nutrition and Aging
  • Physical Activity and the Aging Adult
  • Maintaining Social Relationships
  • Sexuality and the Older Adult
  • Screening Programs for the Older Adult
  • Examinations
  • Screening tests
  • Immunizations and the older adult

Chapter 8: Complementary and Alternative Health Care

There has been tremendous growth in the number of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) clinics and hospitals, the number of nursing and medical schools teaching CAM and integrative strategies, the number of researchers studying CAM and integrative interventions, and the number of people seeking CAM and integrative health care in the last two decades.

Topics to be discussed include:

  • Types of Complementary and Alternative Health Care

Chapter 9: Summary

The study of gerontology is expanding in tandem with the aging population. This is an exciting time for healthcare personnel who provide care to the elderly. Understanding the elements that lead to good aging and having a basic understanding of the aging process are essential for providing empathetic and healthcare services.

Lesson 2: Physiology of Aging

Chapter 1: Course Description

The number of older adults in the United States is higher than it has ever been, making this group one of the fastest-growing segments of the population. Healthcare practitioners must have a thorough awareness of the physiologic changes that come with aging in order to give proper treatment to older persons.

Topics to be discussed include:

  • Course Objectives
  • Introduction

Chapter 2: Aging Defined

Aging is characterized as a "universal and unavoidable natural physiologic process" that happens at both the cellular and molecular levels. It's the "time-dependent loss of structure... a gradual effect of 'wear and tear' on the body," according to the researchers.

Chapter 3: Aging and Health Care in the United States

Due to an aging population, rising life expectancy, numerous new scientific advances that can delay or eliminate life-threatening situations, and a growing focus on bioethical and legal issues surrounding life, disease, research, and death, healthcare in the United States is becoming increasingly complex.

Topics to be discussed include:

  • Important Terms

Chapter 4: Physical Assessment of the Older Adult

Aging brings about a slew of physiologic changes. The healthcare provider must be able to tell the difference between changes caused by pathologic processes and those caused by physiologic processes. As a result, a physical examination is an important part of the older client's care. The health assessment might take place in a variety of venues.

Chapter 6: The Endocrine System

The field of aging endocrine physiology is rapidly expanding, according to Meiner (2014). By the year 2000, the subspecialty of "endocrinology of aging" has expanded to include andropause, circadian dysrhythmias, DHEA replacement, erectile dysfunction, male osteoporosis, menopause, metabolic syndrome, diabetes, and thyroid illness.

Topics to be discussed include:

  • Age-Related Changes
  • Common Endocrine System Problems

Chapter 7: The Gastrointestinal System

The oral cavity, pharynx, esophagus, stomach, small intestine, large intestine, gallbladder, pancreas, and liver make up the gastrointestinal (GI) system. Because food offers the nutrients required for the body's basic activities, aging can have an impact on one's nutritional state as well as general health.

Topics to be discussed include:

  • Age-Related Changes
  • Common Gastrointestinal Problems

Chapter 8: The Immune System

Human survival depends on the immune system. It is made up of various organs, cells, and proteins, and it has a complicated relationship with the neurologic and endocrine systems. The immune system serves two main purposes.

Topics to be discussed include:

  • Age-Related Changes
  • Common Immune System Problems
  • Risk Factors

Chapter 9: The Integumentary System

The integumentary system is the body's biggest organ. It spans more than 3,000 square inches and weighs roughly 6 pounds on the average adult. One-third of the blood circulating in the body is dedicated to it. The skin is made up of tissue that is constantly changing and renewing.

Topics to be discussed include:

  • Age-Related Changes
  • Common Integumentary System Problems
  • Risk Factors

Chapter 10: The Musculoskeletal System

Bones, muscles, tendons, ligaments, joints, and bursae make up the musculoskeletal system. This system gives the human form structure and, in conjunction with the neurologic system, allows it to move.

Topics to be discussed include:

  • Age-Related Changes
  • Common Musculoskeletal Problems
  • Risk Factors

Chapter 11: The Nervous System

The central nervous system (the brain and spinal cord) and the peripheral nervous system complex make up the nervous system, which analyzes sensory data, responds to the internal and external environment, controls and coordinates motor, emotional, and intellectual function, and regulates and communicates with other body systems.

Topics to be discussed include:

  • Age-Related Changes
  • Common Nervous System Problems
  • Delirium
  • Dementia
  • Alzheimer's Disease (AD)
  • Pain and Pain Perception
  • Additional Problems

Chapter 12: The Reproductive System

The female reproductive system consists of the breasts, uterus, ovaries, and fallopian tubes, whereas the male reproductive system consists of the penis, scrotum, and testes.

Topics to be discussed include:

  • Age-Related Changes
  • The Female Reproductive System
  • The Male Reproductive System
  • Common Reproductive System Problems

Chapter 13: The Respiratory System

The upper respiratory tract and the lower respiratory tract make up the respiratory system. The respiratory system, which is responsible for gas exchange between the environment and the lungs as well as cellular respiration between oxygen molecules and the cells, goes through several changes as it ages. The distinction between disease-related and aging-related changes is frequently obscured.

Topics to be discussed include:

  • Age-Related Changes
  • Common Respiratory System Problems
  • Risk Factors

Chapter 14: The Sensory System

Through the interpretation of inputs and interaction with the environment, the senses create a link to the outside world. There are also general and particular senses to consider.

Topics to be discussed include:

  • Age-Related Changes
  • Sight
  • Hearing
  • Smell and Taste
  • Touch

Chapter 15: The Urinary System

Bladder, ureters, and kidneys make up the urinary system. Urine production is the kidney's main function.

Topics to be discussed include:

  • Age-Related Changes
  • Common Urinary System Problems

Chapter 16: Summary

Client education is one of the most important functions of healthcare providers. It is a personal choice to live a healthy lifestyle. In order to help aging folks improve their physical and emotional health, it's critical to assess their situation and provide them with knowledge about diet, stress management, and lifestyle options.

Lesson 3: Mental Health and Aging

Chapter 1: Course Description

The vast expansion of the aged population has produced a critical societal challenge: the design and delivery of mental health care to the elderly. Because the aging population in the United States and throughout the world is expected to quickly grow, the need for geriatric mental health treatments is expected to skyrocket.

Topics to be discussed include:

  • Course Objectives

Chapter 2: Introduction

The vast expansion of the aged population has produced a critical societal challenge: the design and delivery of mental health care to the elderly. As the 76 million "baby boomers" approach 65 years of age, the senior population in the United States is expected to quickly expand between 2010 and 2030. Senior citizens will make up 20% of the population by 2030.

Chapter 3: Mental Health & Wellness Strategies

Maintaining mental health in older life requires continued intellectual, social, and physical activities throughout one's life. Mental health is often misunderstood to be nothing more than the absence of mental illness, but it is much more.

Chapter 4: Mental Health Disorders

Mental health disorders are illnesses that are marked by changes in one's thoughts, emotions, or behavior (or some combination thereof). They cause a slew of issues, including disability, pain, and death, and are linked to discomfort and/or decreased functioning. All diagnosable mental health illnesses are referred to collectively as mental illness.

Chapter 5: Depression

Depression is not a common side effect of growing older. Despite this, depression is a medical condition that is under-diagnosed and under-treated. Heart disease, stroke, diabetes, cancer, and Parkinson's disease are all common causes of depression.

Topics to be discussed include:

  • Theories of Depression
  • Symptoms of Depression in Older Adults
  • Depression and Co-Occurrence
  • Contributing Factors to Depression
  • Interventions
  • Treatment
  • Medication

Chapter 6: Suicide

Sadly, elderly people are more likely than younger people to take their own lives. Suicide is typically a precursor to clinical depression in this age range, which the National Institute of Mental Health (2016) defines as self-destructive behavior with the goal to take one's life.

Topics to be discussed include:

  • Risk Factors
  • Interventions

Chapter 7: Dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease

Dementia is a condition in which a person's intellectual abilities gradually deteriorate to the point that they interfere with social and vocational functioning. Alzheimer's disease (AD), vascular dementia (VaD), Lewy body dementia, and frontotemporal dementia are the most common kinds of dementia (FTD). Dementia affects around 35.8% of people over the age of 85.

Topics to be discussed include:

  • Symptoms
  • Diagnosis and Risk Factors
  • Interventions

Chapter 8: Anxiety

One of the most frequent disorders in older persons is anxiety. Anxiety disorders in older adults can arise as a result of a specific stressful incident or a general change, such as a decline in health, disease, financial strain, a change in living circumstances, retirement, or the death of a spouse or significant other.

Topics to be discussed include:

  • Interventions

Chapter 9: Alcohol Abuse

Alcoholism in elderly individuals may be an indication of various chronic and mental illnesses. It can also be challenging to spot. Anxiety, agitation, memory loss, melancholy, blackouts, confusion, weight loss, and falls are common symptoms among older persons who drink alcohol.

Topics to be discussed include:

  • Theories
  • Interventions

Chapter 10: Cultural, Competence, Diversity, and Mental Health

All cultures have symptoms of significant mental diseases. Because mental illness and mental health are frequently manifested via behavior, understanding cultural aspects is essential for understanding a client's behavior and developing culturally relevant interventions. Normal and deviant actions are both cultural manifestations, according to Meiner (2014).

Topics to be discussed include:

  • Diverse Ethnic Populations
  • African Americans
  • Asian American/Pacific Islander
  • Hispanic Americans
  • Native Americans

Chapter 11: Complementary and Alternative Medicine and Mental Health

Recovery and healing may be aided by a mental health therapy strategy that acknowledges the interrelationship between mind, body, and spirit.

Topics to be discussed include:

  • Self-Help
  • Diet & Nutrition
  • Pastoral Counseling
  • Expressive Therapies (Art, Dance, and Music Therapy)
  • Culturally Based Healing Arts
  • Relaxation & Stress Reduction Techniques

Chapter 12: Animal-Assisted Therapy and Mental Health

Animal-assisted therapy's use in health care skyrocketed in the 1980s and 1990s, and it's still on the rise. Clinical findings and new studies today confirm the age-old concept that an interaction between humans, animals, and the natural environment benefits to health and well-being (Pet Partners, 2017).

Topics to be discussed include:

  • The Purpose of Animal-Assisted Therapy Programs
  • Settings for Animal-Assisted Therapy Programs
  • The Mental Health Benefits of Animal-Assisted Therapy
  • Loneliness and Companion Animals

Chapter 13: Mental Health Resources and Supportive Services

Given the stigma and stereotypical views of mental health services held by older persons, alternatives to specialty mental health settings must be examined. Senior centers, communal meal locations, and other community settings where older persons congregate could be useful places to give mental health services to them.

Topics to be discussed include:

  • Limited Utilization of Services by the Elderly

Chapter 14: Trends: A Vision for the Future

A greater number of people will be treated at home. Programs are being developed by community organizations such as churches and congregations, senior citizens' groups, and other social organizations to help older people maintain their mental health by minimizing loneliness and sadness. Medical curricula will place a greater emphasis on gerontologic, geriatric, and geriatric-psychiatric topics.

Topics to be discussed include:

  • Initiatives in Mental Health & Aging

Chapter 15: Summary

Due to the difficulties in diagnosing and effectively treating mental disorders, health care providers are challenged to provide an effective assessment process, be aware of the most up-to-date treatments and resources, and provide current and timely preventive information to both aging adults and their caregivers.

Lesson 4: Healthy Aging

Chapter 1: Course Description

This course is aimed to provide a comprehensive, theoretically integrated view on healthy aging to health professionals. The learner will be able to address healthy aging in terms of cultural parallels and differences, complementary and alternative medicine, nutritional concerns, physical activity, fall prevention, sleep issues, and sexuality issues as a result of this course.

Topics to be discussed include:

  • Course Objectives
  • Introduction

Chapter 2: A Diverse Aging Population

To fulfill the requirements of a multigenerational, multicultural aging population, population patterns of aging, longevity, and diversity will necessitate new ways of thinking. The structure of healthcare delivery systems, the types of care provided, and how care is delivered, for example, necessitate new solutions that serve the specific needs of this diverse group of seniors.

Chapter 3: Ethnic Elders

Because ethnic elder cohorts are made up of so numerous subgroups with different cultural tendencies, it's difficult to draw judgments about them. The health profiles that follow will provide you an insight of the most common healthcare conditions that ethnic older people face (CDC, 2018c).

Topics to be discussed include:

  • Black/African American Elderly
  • Hispanic American Elderly
  • Native American Elderly
  • Asian/Pacific Islander American Elderly

Chapter 4: Alternative and Complementary Healthcare

Approximately half of the population in the United States uses or has utilized alternative health care (National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health [NCCIH], 2018). The elderly American is no exception. Complementary therapies are used by about 55 percent of persons aged 65 and up.

Topics to be discussed include:

  • Types of Complementary and Alternative healthcare

Chapter 5: Nutrition and Aging

Heredity, environment, and lifestyle all play a role in the development of disease. However, the primary causes of death in the senior population have been linked to eating and drinking habits.

Chapter 6: Physical Activity and Aging

Physical activity is essential for excellent health, functional independence, and overall quality of life. It's an important part of aging well. Physical activity has numerous health benefits that last a lifetime. There is mounting evidence that regular aerobic activity, such as circuit training, cycling, jogging, swimming, or walking, can improve strength and endurance.

Topics to be discussed include:

  • Health Benefits of Physical Activity
  • Consider the following facts on physical activity
  • Sustained exercise among the middle-aged and elderly has demonstrated many benefits including the following
  • What Communities Can Do
  • Immunizations and the Older Adult
  • Vaccine Risks
  • Making Health a Priority

Chapter 7: Falls and the Older Person

As their bodies and minds change as a result of age, the elderly encounters a number of health and safety challenges. The risk of falling is one of the most serious dangers that older people face. Falls are the main cause of mortality in people aged 65 and up (CDC, 2018a).

Topics to be discussed include:

  • The Scope of the Problem
  • Fall Classification
  • Fall Prevention
  • Lighting
  • Floor and Hallway
  • Bathrooms
  • Stairways and Steps
  • Furniture
  • Storage

Chapter 8: Sleep and the Elderly

Sleep is "a natural, periodically recurring, physiologic condition of rest for the body and mind; sleep is a state of inactivity or repose that is required to be active," according to Meiner (2014). All human beings have two universals, opposing functions: sleep and activity. The natural sleep cycle begins to shift as people become older, resulting in fewer deep sleep periods.

Chapter 9: Sexuality and Aging

While many people do not equate sexuality with the elderly, love and closeness are essential throughout one's life. The idea that the elderly is too tired and feeble to care about sex is a frequent misunderstanding. One of the most common cultural myths about aging is that age-related physiological changes in the elderly have a negative impact on sexual function.

Topics to be discussed include:

  • Normal Physical Changes in Genital Functioning
  • Women
  • Men

Chapter 10: Social Activity and Aging

Throughout their lives, social, economic, and behavioral factors have an impact on the health of the elderly. Social support systems and social activities are important among these elements. When older persons interact socially with friends and family members, they are more likely to stay in the community and require less formal healthcare services (e.g., hospitalization or institutionalization).

Topics to be discussed include:

  • Lifelong Learning
  • Leisurely Pursuits
  • Second and Third Careers
  • Volunteerism

Chapter 11: Spirituality, Religion, and Aging

Religion is generally seen to be the material manifestation of spirituality: the organization, rituals, and practice of one's beliefs. It is a personal form of expressing spirituality based on creeds and community behaviors through affiliations, ceremonies, and rituals. Spirituality appeals to people of various faiths and affiliations.

Chapter 12: Summary

As the number of persons aged 65 and up in the United States rises, we face new difficulties and opportunities in every part of our society. New decisions must be made by policymakers, businesses, healthcare professionals, and families to address the requirements of our aging population. The elderly person has more opportunities than ever before to live a longer and healthier life.

Lesson 5: Pain Assessment and Management in the Older Adult

Chapter 1: Course Description

Pain is a manifestation of discomfort that affects people of all ages and populations. Healthcare practitioners must be knowledgeable in diagnosing pain, recognizing pain management beliefs, dealing with cultural challenges in pain management, and administering effective pain therapies to give quality care to aging persons.

Topics to be discussed include:

  • Course Objectives
  • Introduction

Chapter 2: Pain as a Priority

Pain is becoming more widely acknowledged as a national and international concern. Pain, for example, affects more Americans than diabetes, heart disease, and cancer combined (National Institutes of Health, 2013). Many of the world's largest health organizations have focused their attention on this problem in recent years.

Chapter 3: Pain Defined

Pain is a highly personal feeling that can be described in a variety of ways (Meiner, 2014; Miller, 2011).

Chapter 4: Pain and the Elderly

Understanding the entire impact of pain and how to manage it in the aging adult may need a review of some alarming data.

Chapter 5: Misconceptions About Pain

Let's start by dispelling some common pain myths. These myths may be believed by the person in pain, his or her family, or any member of the healthcare team, and they obstruct the proper assessment of pain (American Pain Society, 2018; Meiner, 2014).

Chapter 6: Physiology of Pain

Millions of nerve endings make up the nervous system, and pain activates them. Nociciceptors are specialized nerve endings that cause pain. They can be found in various regions of the body, including the skin, joints, muscle, fascia, viscera, and smooth muscle of the artery walls. Per square inch of skin on the human body, there are about 1,000 nociceptors.

Chapter 7: Types of Pain

Despite the fact that every pain employs the identical nociceptors, the placement of the sensitive fibers determines the type of pain a person feels.

Topics to be discussed include:

  • Superficial Pain
  • Visceral Pain
  • Somatic Pain
  • Pain as the Result of Metabolic Need or Metabolic Excess
  • Neuropathic Pain
  • Phantom Pain
  • Breakthrough Pain

Chapter 8: Pain Behaviors

Clients with pain will exhibit observable physiologic and behavioral indicators of distress, and these signs will serve as the foundation for pain evaluation, according to healthcare practitioners.

Chapter 9: Culture and Pain

Culture is a set of shared values, ideas, and understandings about the meanings of words and behaviors, as well as the appropriate ways to express them. Culture influences the beliefs and behaviors that members of a social group learn, share, and pass down. It gives you a way of seeing the world and dealing with it.

Topics to be discussed include:

  • Cultural Expressions of Pain
  • Cultural Expressions of Pain and Pain Assessment
  • Culture and Pain Management

Chapter 10: Pain Assessment

"Pain assessment begins when the nurse acknowledges and takes seriously the client's self-report of pain," wrote Meiner and Lueckenotte (2006, p. 309). Nurses, more than any other member of the healthcare team, play a critical role in the assessment and management of pain. They spend more time with patients than any other member of the team.

Topics to be discussed include:

  • Complete an Initial Assessment
  • Special Considerations
  • Determine the Client's Pain Level
  • Develop a Treatment Plan and Treat the Pain
  • Reassess the Client and Document the Results

Chapter 11: Barriers to Pain Management

The proper assessment and adequate management of pain in the aging adult is hampered by a variety of hurdles. Despite the lack of consensus on age-related changes in pain perception, many older clients and their families, as well as healthcare providers, think that pain is a normal aspect of aging and chronic disease. This misconception frequently leads to underreporting and mistreatment of mental health issues.

Topics to be discussed include:

  • Client Barriers
  • HealthCare Provider Barriers
  • Other Barriers
  • Possible Solutions to Overcoming Barriers

Chapter 12: Pharmacologic Management of Pain

There are an endless number of strategies to control pain with pharmacologic medication. This part will not go into great detail about pharmacology, but it will provide you an overview of the most regularly used pain drugs. For full information on this topic, the healthcare professional should reference a detailed pain management or pharmacology resource.

Topics to be discussed include:

  • Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs), COX-2 Inhibitors and Acetaminophen
  • Opioid Agonists
  • Side Effects of Opioid Agonists
  • Adjuvant Medications
  • Delivery Methods
  • Continuous IV Infusion
  • IV Bolus Administration
  • Patient-Controlled Analgesia
  • Intraspinal Pain Control

Chapter 13: Nonpharmacologic Management of Pain

Pain can be controlled in a variety of ways, in addition to or without of pharmaceutical methods. These techniques complement and enhance pharmaceutical management, and they are effective in older persons. The majority of nonpharmacologic techniques are only effective for minor pain. These methods must be used with pharmaceutical treatments in cases of moderate pain.

Topics to be discussed include:

  • Physical Methods
  • Nutrition and Pain Management
  • Spirituality and Pain
  • The Future

Chapter 14: Summary

The ability to ensure customer comfort is one of the most difficult tasks in healthcare. Every client has the right to the most effective pain relief that can be given in a safe manner. Many misconceptions about pain, its assessment, and treatment may exist among clients, their families, and healthcare providers. It will be beneficial to have a basic awareness of the facts as well as education on current research and techniques.

Lesson 6: Death and Dying

Chapter 1: Course Description

What is grief, exactly? What are the typical reactions to grief? What goes into the final phase of life—death? These are some of the topics covered in this course. Culture's involvement in death and dying will be discussed, as well as palliative and hospice care, advance directives, and spirituality's role. Interactions, healing practices, and rituals that rely on the senses to provide comfort and peace.

Topics to be discussed include:

  • Course Objectives
  • Introduction

Chapter 2: The Grieving Process

Loss is an inevitable aspect of growing older and living. Retirement, downsizing from a large home to a smaller home or senior living facility, changes in activity level, and transitioning from health to illness, marriage to widowhood, and from large social networks to smaller circles of friends and relatives are all common transitional losses associated with aging, according to Meiner (2014).

Topics to be discussed include:

  • What Is Grief?
  • What Are the Different Stages of Grief?
  • How Long Does Grief Last?
  • What Are the Different Ways of Expressing Grief?
  • When Do You Seek Counseling?
  • How Do You Cope With Grief?

Chapter 3: Normal Grief Responses

Psychologically, physiologically, socially, and spiritually, grief manifests itself. Various aspects of normal grief responses are listed below (Doka, 2016; Meiner, 2014).

Topics to be discussed include:

  • Psychological Responses
  • Physical Symptoms
  • Social Changes
  • Spiritual Issues

Chapter 4: Individual Cultural Beliefs and Ethnic Traditions

A person's perspective on death is influenced by their culture. Despite the fact that death is a universal human experience, there are cultural concerns when a loved one passes away (Lobar, Youngblut, & Brooten, 2006; Meiner, 2014). Some Native Americans believe in "good" and "bad" deaths. After a full life, a good death occurs.

Chapter 5: The Process of Dying for Older Adults

The moral, social, and legal difficulties surrounding death are especially relevant to older people, their families, and the health-care professionals who give care during the most difficult of times (Kapp, 2009). Although there is no unanimity on when the dying phase begins, the quality of dying refers to the time leading up to death (Hales, 2010).

Topics to be discussed include:

  • Psychologic Aspects
  • Spiritual Aspects
  • Social Aspects
  • Physical Aspects

Chapter 6: Advance Directives

 

Topics to be discussed include:

  • Living Will
  • Durable Power of Attorney
  • Do-Not-Resuscitate Order
  • Physician Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment (POLST)

Chapter 7: Palliative Care vs. Hospice Care

In 1991, the Patient Self-Determination Act was signed into law, requiring all healthcare facilities receiving Medicare or Medicaid reimbursement to acknowledge advance directives. In the event that a person is unable to make decisions, these documents serve as a guide for their families and healthcare providers (Meiner, 2014: National Institutes of Health [NIH], 2018).

Topics to be discussed include:

  • The Differences
  • Palliative Care
  • Hospice Care

Chapter 8: Discontinuation of Ventilator Support

Discontinuing ventilator support entails honoring the patient's and family's preferences, encouraging staff involvement, enlisting the help of an interdisciplinary team, and allotting appropriate time in the decision-making process for financial considerations. When it comes to ventilators and hospice care, there are some rules to follow.

Chapter 9: Management of Pain

For many seriously ill and terminally ill people, suffering can be unbearable. These individuals can be made comfortable during their final days thanks to significant breakthroughs in pain management (Wilkie & Ezenwa, 2012). Unrelieved pain affects from 52 percent to 77 percent of cancer patients globally.

Topics to be discussed include:

  • The "Double Effect"
  • Total Sedation
  • Management of Nonpain Symptoms
  • Signs of Imminent Death

Chapter 10: Advantages and Disadvantages of Dying at Home

Individuals and their families are free to do whatever they want because their routines and timetables are flexible. Family, friends, and pets are always willing to lend a helping hand. The capacity to cook meals simplifies the process of preparing what the individual enjoys.

Chapter 11: Interactions with a Dying Person

Death isn't just a medical occurrence. It is a time for all parties involved to exchange love, reconcile, and transform. Loved ones of the dying person can become compassionate companions and assist them on their journey. The death of each individual is as distinct as their birth. There is no one-size-fits-all guide for every case, but the following suggestions may be useful to family members.

Topics to be discussed include:

  • Relate to the Person
  • Be Attentive
  • Demonstrate Compassion
  • Create a Calm Environment

Chapter 12: Healing Strategies

It's critical to spend the final months, weeks, or days in a way that meets the needs of the dying loved one's family, friends, and caregivers. Some people may desire to spend time conversing or just being together.

Topics to be discussed include:

  • Engage in Journal Writing
  • Organize Family Photos
  • Gather Together a Collection of Favorite Things
  • Plant a Memory Garden
  • Interact With a Pet
  • Take Short Trips
  • Use Music Therapy
  • Use Art Therapy
  • Take a Spiritual Assessment

Chapter 13: The Use of the Senses in Rituals for the Dying

The senses of touch, odor, taste, sight, and hearing are all vital in the creation of rituals for the dying.

Chapter 14: Spiritual Dimensions of Death and Dying

Individuals try to find or make sense of life when they are aware of their impending mortality. Most people, on the other hand, have done little to prepare for death emotionally, physically, or spiritually. Spiritual and religious ideas help older people make sense of their life.

Topics to be discussed include:

  • Spiritual Needs of the Dying
  • The Moment of Death

Chapter 15: Summary

Each person's loss and dying experience is different. The care and support for older persons who are dying will improve as knowledge of the issues surrounding death and dying grows and good attitudes are promoted. It is critical to assist the dying individual in making the transition from life to death in a peaceful manner.

Lesson 7: Sleep and Aging

Chapter 1: Course Description

A healthy, productive existence necessitates sleep. While sleep disorders and changes affect us all as we age, older persons experience a slew of sleep-related changes that can have a negative impact on their physical and mental health. The learner should be able to describe the typical stages of sleep, common sleep measurement instruments, sleep features, and common sleep disorders as a result of this course.

Topics to be discussed include:

  • Course Objectives
  • Introduction

Chapter 2: The Stages of Sleep

It's crucial to understand the basic stages (or "architecture") of sleep before looking into sleep disorders or how age impacts sleep. During a typical 8-hour period of sleep, two separate brain states, or "sleep architecture," coexist.

Topics to be discussed include:

  • REM sleep is the dream stage of sleep.

Chapter 3: Sleep Characteristics

Over the course of our lives, our sleeping habits vary. Infants and children, for example, have a high sleep requirement, but most people require 7 to 8 hours of sleep per day. The amount of sleep required varies by individual, however it is described as the amount of sleep that allows an individual to function throughout the day without becoming tired or losing concentration.

Chapter 4: Sleep Measurement Tools

The stages of sleep can be identified by observing a person's behavior, but the most effective way to study these stages and the intricacy of sleep is to record many tests continuously and simultaneously.

Topics to be discussed include:

  • Polysomnograph
  • Multiple Sleep Latency Test

Chapter 5: Sleep Disorders

Changes in sleeping patterns or habits are considered sleep disorders. Excessive daytime sleepiness, uneven breathing or increased activity while sleeping, difficulties sleeping, and aberrant sleep patterns are all signs and symptoms of sleep disorders (Mayo Clinic, 2018).

Topics to be discussed include:

  • Insomnia
  • Sleep Apnea
  • Circadian Rhythm Disorders
  • Narcolepsy
  • Periodic Limb Movements Disorder (PLMD)
  • Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS)
  • Parasomnias

Chapter 6: Sleep Changes with Aging

As we become older, our bodies go through a lot of changes. Many of them occur gradually. Our hearing and vision deteriorate, and our memories may become hazy. Similarly, our sleeping habits shift. While our desire for sleep remains constant, getting a good night's sleep may become more difficult as we get older. Sleep disturbances in the elderly are not a typical aspect of the aging process.

Chapter 7: Other Problems Affecting Sleep

A variety of other issues confront aging folks, all of which have an impact on the quality and quantity of sleep they get.

Topics to be discussed include:

  • Stress
  • Pain and Discomfort
  • Menopause
  • Environmental Factors
  • Hospitalization or Institutionalization
  • Diet
  • Psychological Factors

Chapter 8: Treatment Options

Individualized treatments for sleep disorders exist. Simple remedies, such as food adjustments, lifestyle changes, or improving the sleeping environment, are all possibilities. It is critical to evaluate each particular case because what works for one person may not work for another.

Topics to be discussed include:

  • Physical Examination
  • Sleep Hygiene
  • Other Remedies
  • Medications
  • Further Testing
  • Sleep Education

Chapter 9: Summary

A healthy, productive existence necessitates sleep. While all of us have sleep disorders and changes as we get older, older persons experience a slew of sleep-related alterations that can have a negative impact on their physical and mental health. The role of healthcare practitioners is crucial. They can teach older folks about the stages of sleep and help them recognize common sleep disorders.

Lesson 8: The Older Woman

Chapter 1: Course Description

The population of the United States is aging, and the majority of those over the age of 65 are women. The elder woman of today belongs to a heterogeneous population with varying levels of income, education, health, functional skills, living arrangements, and support services. Women have particular economic, social, and physical issues since they live longer than men.

Topics to be discussed include:

  • Course Objectives
  • Introduction

Chapter 2: Demographic Trends and Projections

The population of the United States is aging, and the majority of those over the age of 65 are women. The phrase "feminization of later life" describes how women prevail in older age groups and how their proportions rise with age (Giddens, 2014). Widowhood is common among elderly women as a result of this.

Topics to be discussed include:

  • Global Demographics

Chapter 3: Centenarians

Americans have been obsessed with longevity since Ponce de Leon's hunt for the elixir of youth over 500 years ago. New medical discoveries and technology, such as drugs, organ transplants, life-prolonging devices, the emergence of preventative medicine, and an emphasis on wellness, have aided this pursuit for longevity and the good health that comes with it.

Topics to be discussed include:

  • Economic Concerns of Older Women
  • Social Security
  • What Does the Future Hold in Store?

Chapter 4: Healthcare Issues of Older Women

The majority of elderly women are unemployed, work part-time, or work in areas that do not provide health benefits. As a result, they are frequently without personal health insurance. This makes them reliant on their spouse's plan and exposes them to risk in the case of a separation or divorce, or if their spouse retires, loses their job, or dies.

Topics to be discussed include:

  • Preventive Care
  • Long-Term Care
  • The Future

Chapter 5: Elderly Women as Caregivers

A youthful person caring for a sick or crippled old person is the traditional image of a caregiver providing care to an elderly person. This image is frequently correct. Not all caretakers, though, are young. Many of them are older or elderly, and they may not only provide but also receive care.

Chapter 6: Social Issues

Social variables can have a significant impact on an older woman's health. For this demographic, housing and living arrangements, transportation concerns, education, and support networks are all critical.

Topics to be discussed include:

  • Housing & Living Arrangements
  • Transportation Systems
  • Education
  • Support Systems

Chapter 7: Special Health Considerations of the Older Woman

In the United States, women's life expectancy has roughly doubled in the last century.

Topics to be discussed include:

  • Cancer
  • Lung Cancer
  • Colorectal Cancer
  • Stroke
  • Osteoporosis
  • Urinary Incontinence (UI)
  • Skin Conditions
  • Sexuality, Intimacy, and The Older Woman

Chapter 8: HIV/AIDS

In the United States, an estimated 17% of HIV-positive people are 50 or older (Meiner, 2014). This reflects a small rise over the previous few years.

Topics to be discussed include:

  • Emerging Infections

Chapter 9: Summary

While older women are more likely to live alone, be poor, and have greater rates of chronic illness and disability than older males, certain trends suggest that this will change in the future.

Lesson 9: Elder Abuse

Chapter 1: Course Description

Older folks today are more vivacious, independent, and healthier than their forefathers. However, as the world's population grows, so does the problem of caring for the elderly. Caregivers must often deal with stressful economic and personal burdens when caring for the elderly, who may be abused, exploited, or neglected as a result of this stress.

Topics to be discussed include:

  • Course Objectives
  • Introduction

Chapter 2: The Prevalence of Abuse

When iconic 90-year-old actor Mickey Rooney appeared before the Senate in 2010 about alleged abuse he'd undergone at the hands of a family member, many Americans were stunned. He was well-dressed and alert as he told a terrifying story about betrayal and loss.

Topics to be discussed include:

  • Theories of Elder Abuse

Chapter 3: Who Is Most Likely to be Abused?

Anyone can be abused by an elder, but those with mental or physical disabilities are more vulnerable.

Topics to be discussed include:

  • Profile of the Abuser

Chapter 4: What Is Abuse?

Elder abuse is defined as a physical or mental act that threatens or harms an aged person, whether via action or inaction (Luggen & Meiner, 2001). In 1987, the Amendments to the Older Americans Act included the first federal definitions of elder abuse, neglect, and exploitation.

Chapter 5: Categories of Abuse

Topics to be discussed include:

  • Institutional Elder Abuse
  • Self-Neglect
  • Domestic Elder Abuse

Chapter 6: Types of Elder Abuse

Topics to be discussed include:

  • Physical Abuse
  • Neglect
  • Abandonment
  • Emotional or Psychological Abuse
  • Financial or Fiduciary Abuse
  • Sexual Abuse

Chapter 7: Why Does Elder Abuse Occur?

Elder abuse can occur for a variety of causes, much like other violent crimes. Elder abuse is caused by a mix of psychological, social, and economic circumstances, as well as the mental and physical status of the victim and offender.

Chapter 8: The Role of Culture in Elder Abuse

In family life, cultural values, beliefs, and traditions play an important influence.

Chapter 9: Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Elder Abuse

When most people think of homosexuals—gay men and lesbians—they think of sexuality, because homosexuals and heterosexuals are distinguished by sexuality. Bringing the topic of gay and lesbian elder abuse to the forefront of healthcare is exceedingly challenging because most cultures regard sexuality as a private concern, and elder abuse is often a private issue among families.

Chapter 10: Healthcare Provider Responsibilities

Topics to be discussed include:

  • Detecting Abuse
  • Reporting Abuse
  • Documenting Abuse
  • Professional and Legal Issues

Chapter 11: Taking Action Against Elder Abuse

Topics to be discussed include:

  • First Steps
  • Elder Education
  • Healthcare Providers
  • Screening
  • Family Education
  • Public and Societal Education

Chapter 12: Summary

Elder abuse is becoming more common. As a result, it's critical for healthcare providers to detect the signs and symptoms of different types of abuse and intervene as soon as possible. Everyone deserves to be treated with dignity and respect. There is no exception for the old client.

Lesson 10: Aging & Disorders of Communication

Chapter 1: Course Description

All human beings are linked by communication. Individuals' ability to comprehend information through their senses is frequently distorted or weakened as they get older. Sensory changes as people get older have an impact on their quality of life and communication. Families must be aware of the sometimes-silent process of sensory degeneration in their aging relatives, and aging persons must compensate for these changes.

Topics to be discussed include:

  • Course Objectives
  • Introduction

Chapter 2: Disorders of Language and Speech

The term "communication disorders" refers to a variety of language, speech, and hearing issues. An impairment in the ability to receive, send, process, and grasp concepts or spoken, nonverbal, or visual symbol systems is known as a communication disorder. Hearing, language, and/or speech functions can all be affected by a communication disorder, which can range in severity from mild to severe.

Topics to be discussed include:

  • Voice Disorders
  • Disorders of Vocal Abuse and Misuse
  • Vocal Cord Paralysis
  • Fluency Problems
  • Aphasia

Chapter 3: Disorders of Hearing

Hearing loss is a physiological, psychological, and anatomical condition that affects the capacity to receive, interpret, and process sound waves accurately. Hearing sensitivity affects around 20% of people in the United States aged 12 and up. As the baby boomers approach retirement age, this number is likely to skyrocket (Johns Hopkins Medicine, 2011).

Topics to be discussed include:

  • How We Hear
  • Causes of Hearing Loss
  • Age-Related Hearing Changes
  • Types of Hearing Loss
  • The Degree and Configuration of Hearing Loss

Chapter 4: Other Causes of Communication Disorders

Other circumstances, in addition to the ones mentioned thus far, can lead to communication problems. Traumatic brain injuries, cerebrovascular accidents (CVAs), and noise-induced environmental ailments are among them.

Topics to be discussed include:

  • Traumatic Brain Injuries
  • Cerebrovascular Accident (CVA)
  • Environmental Noise

Chapter 5: Effective Interventions for Those With Communication Disorders

There are several possibilities for efficient communication for people with communication difficulties and their families. Augmentative and alternative communication, sign language, assistive listening devices (ALDs), cochlear implants, and adult aural rehabilitation are some of the options available. This section will go over each of them briefly.

Topics to be discussed include:

  • Augmentation and Alternative Communication (AAC)
  • Key Terms
  • Common Symbols of Language
  • Transmission Techniques
  • Selection Techniques
  • Sign Language
  • Assistive Listening Devices (ALDs)
  • Cochlear Implants
  • Adult Aural Rehabilitation

Chapter 6: The Role of the Healthcare Provider in Detecting and Preventing Communication Disorders

The healthcare professional, particularly the nurse, nurse practitioner, and physician, is in a unique position to aid in the early detection of hearing loss or language and communication deficiencies through hearing tests. The goal is to conduct a comprehensive investigation.

Chapter 7: Summary

Communication is an essential component of our social selves, as it connects all people. Individuals with communication disorders, such as speech, language, and hearing difficulties, can experience rage, frustration, and social isolation.

Chapter 1: Course Description

Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a disease in which one's memories, independence, capacity to recognize loved ones, and dignity are all lost. AD, also known as "the long goodbye," is the most common type of dementia, impacting millions of people in the United States.

Topics to be discussed include:

  • Course Objectives

Chapter 2: Introduction

Alzheimer's disease (AD) has been called one of the most major health and social crises of the twenty-first century, preventing many older persons and their families from enjoying their "Golden Years." According to the World Alzheimer Report 2016 (Alzheimer's Disease International, 2016), Alzheimer's disease and other dementias have the potential to cause global social and economic upheavals.

Topics to be discussed include:

  • Global Statistics
  • United States Statistics

Chapter 3: What is Alzheimer’s Disease?

During a scientific meeting, Dr. Alzheimer first described Alzheimer's disease when he described the case of "Frau Auguste D," a 51-year-old woman whose husband noted her memory problems, difficulty speaking and understanding what he said to her, disorientation, hallucinations, behavioral problems, and unfounded suspicions that he was unfaithful. In the spring of 1906, she succumbed to her illness.

Chapter 4: The Brain

The brain is a wonderful organ. The human brain can function well into its tenth decade in the absence of sickness. The brain is made up of three pieces, each weighing around 3 pounds (the size of a medium cauliflower) and having a texture akin to solid jelly (NIA, 2017).

Chapter 5: The Brain and Normal Healthy Aging

While healthy older persons may experience some deterioration in mental function, adults can typically increase in other cognitive areas such as vocabulary and other forms of verbal knowledge. Growing evidence of the older brain's adaptive ("plastic") capabilities is emerging. "Use it or lose it" can refer to more than just our skeletal muscles.

Chapter 6: What Causes Alzheimer’s Disease?

AD wreaks havoc on vital metabolic systems that keep brain neurons alive and well. When neurons stop functioning properly, they lose their connections with other nerve cells and die. Memory loss, personality changes, and trouble with activities of daily living (ADL) are all symptoms of this damage and consequent cell death (NIA, 2017).

Topics to be discussed include:

  • Risk Factors Associated with AD

Chapter 7: Brain Changes in Alzheimer’s Disease

Nobody knows what triggers the physiological changes that lead to Alzheimer's disease, or why some typical aging brain processes become more intense and harmful in some people but not in others. Alzheimer's disease progresses at a different rate for everyone. People with Alzheimer's disease live an average of 8 years, but others can live up to 20.

Topics to be discussed include:

  • Preclinical Disease (No Cognitive Impairment or Symptoms)
  • Mild Cognitive Impairment (Moderate Alzheimer's Disease)
  • Severe Cognitive Decline (Severe AD)

Chapter 8: Making an Accurate Diagnosis: Differentiating Between Dementia, Depression, and Alzheimer’s Disease

Although the stages and symptoms of Alzheimer's disease have been thoroughly explained in the preceding sections, the symptoms of Alzheimer's disease are sometimes confused with those of other disorders. Dementia and depression are two diseases (or types of disorders) that are frequently confused with Alzheimer's disease. It's difficult to tell the difference between them, but it's crucial for patients, their families, and their loved ones.

Topics to be discussed include:

  • Dementia

Chapter 9: Diagnostic Techniques for Alzheimer’s Disease

There are numerous methods for diagnosing Alzheimer's disease and other dementias. It's crucial to be able to rule out depression as well as other diseases or ailments like vitamin B12 deficiency. Early detection of Alzheimer's disease is crucial for patients and their families because it allows them to more effectively manage symptoms and make informed decisions about the future (NINDS, 2014).

Topics to be discussed include:

  • Comprehensive History
  • Physical Examination
  • Cognitive and Neurological Evaluation
  • Brain Scans
  • Laboratory Tests
  • Psychiatric Evaluation
  • Presymptomatic Testing

Chapter 10: One the Diagnosis is Made- What Next?

When people and/or their families learn that they or a loved one has Alzheimer's disease, their feelings might range from relief (at finally having a definite diagnosis) to anger, dread, and anxiety. "Now what?" is invariably the following question. There are currently no particular treatments available to reverse or slow the progression of the disease.               

Chapter 11: Components of Care

According to the Alzheimer's Association (2017g), although geriatric Americans make up a small percentage of the population, they account for nearly a quarter of all physician office visits, over a third of all prescriptions, nearly half of all emergency medical responses/calls, and almost all nursing home residents.

Topics to be discussed include:

  • General Safety Concerns
  • Personal Hygiene Issues
  • Psychosocial and Spiritual Support
  • Communicating with AD Patients
  • Companionship, Intimacy, and Sexuality
  • Managing Behavior and Sensory Concerns
  • Activities of Daily Living (ADL)
  • Caring for the Person with End-Stage Alzheimer's Disease

Chapter 12: Integrative Health Approaches to Alzheimer’s Disease and Other Dementias

Integrative health treatments to the behavioral and clinical elements of Alzheimer's disease and other dementias are gaining popularity. Some of the medicines discussed have solid scientific evidence supporting their efficacy, while others have mixed or contradictory data. For your convenience, we've summarized a few of them below.

Chapter 13: Family and Caregiver Support

One of the most difficult aspects of Alzheimer's disease is the physical and emotional toll it takes on family members, caregivers, and friends of those who have the condition. These people must deal with personality changes, the need to provide consistent, loving attention for years, and the demands of providing personal, intimate care such as bathing, toilet

The Certificate in Gerontology consists of a total of 11 lessons:

Lesson 1 - Introduction to Gerontology
Opportunities are unlimited for the individual who knows the field of gerontology. Demographic changes and changes in health care have influenced the development of a variety of gerontologic roles.

Lesson 2 - Physiology of Aging
There are more older adults in the United States than ever before in history, making this segment one of the fastest-growing portions of the population. The appropriate care of older adults requires health care providers to have a solid understanding of the physiologic changes that accompany aging.

Lesson 3 - Mental Health and Aging
This lesson provides health care professionals with an overview of mental health and aging, including mental health wellness strategies, mental health disorders, cultural competence, cultural diversity, complementary and alternative medicine treatments, animal-assisted therapy and mental health, mental health resources, and trends in mental health and aging.

Lesson 4 - Healthy Aging
This lesson introduces the health professional to a broad, conceptually integrated perspective on the topic of healthy aging.

Lesson 5 - Pain Assessment and Management in the Older Adult
Pain is a symptom that signals distress in virtually every population and every age. To provide quality care to aging adults, health care providers must be particularly skilled at assessing pain, understanding misconceptions of pain management, addressing cultural issues in pain management, and providing effective pain therapies.

Lesson 6 - Death and Dying
What is grief? What are normal grief responses? What is involved in the final life transition—death? These are some of the questions that will be discussed in this course. The role of culture, palliative and hospice care, advance directives, and the role of spirituality in death and dying will be described. Interactions, healing strategies, and rituals that use the senses and bring comfort and peace for the dying will also be explored.

Lesson 7 - Sleep and Aging
Sleep is essential to a healthy, productive life. Sleep disorders and changes affect people as they age and older adults undergo many sleep-related changes that can affect their physical and psychological well-being.

Lesson 8 - The Older Woman
America is growing older and most older Americans are women. Today's older woman is part of a diverse group that varies in income, education level, health, functional abilities, living arrangements, and access to support services. Because women live longer than men, they face unique economic, social, and health challenges.

Lesson 9 - Elder Abuse
Older adults today are vibrant, independent, living longer, and in better health than their ancestors. However, as this growing population increases, so does the issue of caring for elderly individuals. Caregivers must often cope with stressful economic and personal burdens when caring for the elderly who pay the price for this stress and may be abused, exploited, or neglected.

Lesson 10 - Aging & Disorders of Communication
Communication links all human beings together. As individuals age, their ability to perceive information through their senses is often distorted or impaired. Age-related sensory changes impact the quality of life and the quality of communication. Aging adults must compensate for these changes and families must be sensitive to the often-silent process of sensory deterioration in their aging family member.

Lesson 11 - Alzheimer's Disease: Mysteries and Possibilities
Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a condition in which the concept of loss is central—the loss of one's memories, independence, ability to recognize loved ones, and dignity. Often referred to as "the long goodbye," AD is the most common type of dementia, affecting millions of Americans. It is responsible for billions of dollars annually in health care costs; however, new research is providing hope for those with Alzheimer's disease as well as for their families and caregivers.

Entry requirements

Students must have basic literacy and numeracy skills.

Minimum education

Open entry. Previous schooling and academic achievements are not required for entry into this course.

Computer requirements

Students will need access to a computer and the internet.

Minimum specifications for the computer are:

Windows:

  • Microsoft Windows XP, or later
  • Modern and up to date Browser (Internet Explorer 8 or later, Firefox, Chrome, Safari)

MAC/iOS

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  • Modern and up to date Browser (Firefox, Chrome, Safari)

All systems

  • Internet bandwidth of 1Mb or faster
  • Flash player or a browser with HTML5 video capabilities(Currently Internet Explorer 9, Firefox, Chrome, Safari)

Students will also need access the following applications:

Adobe Acrobat Reader

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Course Summary

Course ID: 007GOC
Delivery Mode: Online
Access: 8 Weeks
Tutor Support: Yes
Duration: 24 Hours
Assessments: Yes
Qualification: Certificate

Start Dates

This course is available to begin on the following dates

  • 14 October
  • 18 November
  • 13 December
  • 11 January

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