Within the next several decades, people older than age 65 will outnumber children for the first time in recorded history. Accordingly, practitioners will need to have a fundamental understanding of the biological, psychological, and social theories of aging. Research on healthy aging suggests that it involves multiple dimensions that extend beyond longevity, spanning physical and emotional health, cognitive functioning, and social and productive engagement. Importantly, chronic disease and disability do not necessarily exclude older people from healthy aging. Familiarity with evidence-based interventions that address modifiable factors in aging, in order to lengthen the “healthspan” of aging persons, will be vital for healthcare providers.This course reviews the definition, determinants, and mechanisms of healthy aging. Current theories of healthy aging are discussed, along with the biological, psychological, and social processes involved in maintaining a high degree of functioning and well-being in later life. Finally, evidence-based interventions to promote healthy behaviors in older people are described, as well as how these interventions have been adapted for institutional care settings.
This online course is approved for APA CE credit, NBCC CE clock hours, ASWB Clinical CE clock hours, and NYSED CE credit.
After completing this course, health professionals will be able to:
- Cite 2 seminal works in the research on aging and summarize contemporary theories of the biological, psychological, and social determinants of healthy aging.
- Identify 5 central principles of gerontology and their relationship to the emerging science investigating the mechanisms of healthy aging.
- Implement at least 3 evidence-based interventions to promote healthy aging across the physical, emotional, and cognitive domains within an individual therapeutic or institutional setting.