Fundamentals of Healthy Aging: A Biopsychosocial Perspective
3 CE Credits
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.
After completing this course, health professionals will be able to:
- Describe contemporary theories of the biological, psychological, and social determinants of healthy aging.
- Summarize the emerging science investigating the mechanisms of healthy aging.
- Implement evidence-based interventions to promote healthy aging in multiple service contexts.