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Ageism: Combatting Stereotypes

Catherine Spayd, PhD

CE Credit: 1 Hour

Target Audience: Psychology CE | Counseling CE | Speech-Language Pathology CEUs | Social Work CE | Occupational Therapy CEUs | Marriage & Family Therapy CE | Teaching CE

Learning Level: Introductory

Course Type: Online

Course Abstract

Ageism: Combatting Stereotypes is a 1-hour online continuing education (CE) course that examines ageist stereotypes and provides strategies to combat them.

Ageism is defined as discrimination against older people because of negative and inaccurate stereotypes—and it’s so ingrained in our culture that we often don’t even notice. Ageism includes the tendency to regard older persons as debilitated, unworthy of attention, or unsuitable for employment or other meaningful activity. If we have the good fortune to live a long life, inaccurate stereotypes about aging will harm all of us.

The first goal of this course is to heighten your awareness of ageism and how it impacts patient care. We will review theoretical constructs of ageism; research evidence of its existence in Western culture and in healthcare in particular; and consider the common negative consequences of this prejudice. The second goal of this course is to consider the ways in which we combat ageism at both the personal and institutional levels. Finally, we will examine both research and case examples of successful or “robust” aging and highlight supercentenarians whose accomplishments provide living proof that disputes ageist beliefs.


  • Introduction
  • Part 1: Ageism Awareness
  • Part 2: Combatting Ageism
  • Part 3: Robust Aging Research & Case Examples
  • Conclusion

Course #11-53 | 2023 | 23 pages | 10 posttest questions

Learning Objectives

1. Define ageism and list three commonly held stereotypes about older adults
2. Describe the importance of maintaining a positive mindset regarding aging
3. Identify four ways to combat ageism at the personal and institutional levels
4. List three lifestyle factors that have been shown to boost robust aging

Professional Development Resources is approved by the American Psychological Association (APA) to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. Professional Development Resources maintains responsibility for this program and its content. Professional Development Resources is also approved by the Florida Board of Psychology and the Office of School Psychology and is CE Broker compliant (#50-1635 - all courses are reported within two business days of completion). Professional Development Resources, Inc. is recognized by the New York State Education Department’s State Board for Psychology as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed psychologists (#PSY-0145).


This online course provides instant access to the course materials (PDF download) and CE test. The course is text-based (reading) and the CE test is open-book (you can print the test to mark your answers on it while reading the course document).

Successful completion of this course involves passing an online test (80% required, 3 chances to take) and we ask that you also complete a brief course evaluation. Click here to learn more.

Have a question? Contact us. We’re here to help!

About the Author(s)

Catherine S. Spayd, PhD, is a clinical psychologist in independent, private practice in Duncansville, PA. Dr. Spayd received her Master's and PhD degrees in Clinical Psychology from Penn State University. She completed a pre-doctoral internship in clinical psychology at Friends Hospital in Philadelphia, PA, and a post-doctoral fellowship in geropsychology at Philadelphia Geriatric Center. Dr. Spayd has been a licensed psychologist in Pennsylvania since 1991. Before developing a full-time private practice in 2000, she worked for 2 years as a Rehabilitation Psychologist at Mercy Regional Health System, in Altoona, PA. She then created, developed and was Clinical Director for 6 years at PathWays, Bon Secours-Holy Family Hospital's inpatient and partial hospitalization geropsychiatric programs. Dr. Spayd was appointed as a member of the Pennsylvania State Board of Psychology in October of 2014.

Financial: Dr. Spayd receives author compensation from Professional Development Resources.
Nonfinancial: No relevant nonfinancial relationship exists. 

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