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Aging: Challenges for Clinicians

Laura More, MSW, LCSW

CE Credit: 3 Hours

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

Learning Level: Introductory

Course Type: Online

Course Abstract

Aging: Challenges for Clinicians is a 3-hour online continuing education (CE) course that provides a review of the aging process, illustrating potential challenges and effective solutions.

There are proportionately more older adults living now than in previous generations due to the post-World War II baby boom. Americans are also living longer, well into their eighties, nineties, and beyond. In healthcare, the volume of older people may soon outnumber the supply of healthcare professionals trained in geriatrics. Therefore, it is vital that healthcare professionals be familiar with the challenges of aging if they are to effectively treat this population.

In section one, we review the physical changes that occur during the aging process and differentiate between normal changes, and symptoms that may indicate possible health issues. We discuss factors that can positively support a healthy lifestyle and offer a list of recommended health screenings and strategies for supporting patients.

Section two focuses on psychosocial issues faced by older adults and the factors that can affect them, including depression, suicide, sexuality, substance abuse, and physical abuse. The negative effect of stereotyping is also discussed. We consider how spirituality, building resilience, having a healthy social life, and having emotional support play a role in psychosocial health.

The cognitive changes of aging are explored in section three. Normal, age-related cognitive changes are compared to changes that indicate signs of dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. We review physical issues that directly affect an older person’s cognitive state and discuss subjective cognitive decline as one of the earliest warning signs of potential dementia. Strategies for maintaining and improving memory, as well as addressing behavior and cognitive issues, are touched on.

In section four, we look at the importance of communication in the patient/professional relationship and note strategies for supporting positive interactions and dialog. Section five provides an overview of the continuum of care for older adults and the challenges experienced by caregivers. A short list of available resources is provided at the end of the course and case examples are provided throughout.


  • Introduction: The Rising Tide of Aging Americans
  • Section 1: Physical Changes in Aging
  • Section 2: Psychosocial Issues in Aging
  • Section 3: Cognitive Changes in Aging
  • Section 4: Communicating with Elders
  • Section 5: The Continuum of Care
  • Section 6: Preparing the Workforce
  • Conclusion

Course #31-51 | 2023 | 55 pages | 20 posttest questions

Learning Objectives

1.Identify three strategies to assist older persons in the clinic or office
2.List nine physical changes that affect people as they age
3.Explain how negative aging stereotypes affect mental, physical, and cognitive health in older adults
4.Discuss five ways in which psychosocial changes affect the older person
5.Identify three signs or symptoms of cognitive decline
6.List three options in the continuum of care for older adults

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)

Laura More, MSW, LCSWhas been a licensed clinical social worker for over 40 years and has worked in a variety of practice settings, including: rehabilitation, oncology, trauma, skilled nursing, education, and management. She founded Care2Learn, an online continuing education resource for post-acute healthcare professionals. She has co-authored psychology and nursing books as well as authoring hundreds of online courses. Laura is currently a healthcare author/editor of online continuing education courses, specializing in evidence-based research review. She is the recipient of the 2010 Education Award from the American College of Health Care Administrators.

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

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