A new session of each course opens each month, allowing you to enroll whenever your busy schedule permits!
How does it work? Once a session starts, two lessons will be released each week, for the six-week duration of your course. You will have access to all previously released lessons until the course ends.
Keep in mind that the interactive discussion area for each lesson automatically closes 2 weeks after each lesson is released, so you’re encouraged to complete each lesson within two weeks of its release.
The Final Exam will be released on the same day as the last lesson. Once the Final Exam has been released, you will have 2 weeks plus 10 days to complete the Final and finish any remaining lessons in your course. No further extensions can be provided beyond these 10 days.
Lesson 01 - Nutrition and Healthy Aging
Increasing scientific, clinical, and social interest helps us understand the relationship between nutrition and aging. Eating well is essential in all stages of life but is especially important for maintaining good health and slowing the aging process in older adults: Nutrition influences the risk of contracting acute and chronic diseases and affects the physiological and biological processes of aging. Making healthy food choices also has social impacts, since healthy adults are more productive members of society and utilize fewer resources on multiple levels than unhealthy adults. The goal of this course is to identify the nutrient needs specific to the older adult, describe how age-related changes impact nutritional status, identify nutrition-related diseases common in older adults, describe the impact of food-borne illnesses on the health of aging adults, identify the United States' governmental MyPlate food guidelines, and describe the purpose of the Older Americans Nutrition Program (OANP).
Lesson 02 - The Healthy Aging Brain
The brain is the most complex part of the human body. People once believed that progressive mental decline was inevitable, but now we know that the brain's ability to age well varies from person to person and is affected by genetic predisposition, genes, life experiences, lifestyle, exposure to toxins and chemicals, accidents, trauma, and disease. Cognitive abilities do not automatically decline with age: the majority of older adults are happy; they live an active, optimistic life with many friends; and they engage in leisure-time activities that increase not only their quality of life but also their longevity and the health of their brains. The goal of this course is to identify the components of the brain and their functions; differentiate the current theories of neuroplasticity, neurogenesis, and epigenetics; and discuss the effects of physical activity, nutrition, mental stimulation, socialization, creativity, attitude, spirituality, and meditation on the healthy aging brain.
Lesson 03 - Physical Activity and Healthy Aging
Physical activity is essential for healthy aging and well-being. Throughout life, engaging in enjoyable movement, such as walking, dancing, golfing, swimming, and cycling can increase the chances for health and vitality in later years. The goal of this course is to examine the physiological and psychological benefits of physical activity. Various types of physical activity, their health benefits, the factors of an effective exercise program, and the benefits of movement (walking, yoga, and tai chi) are described.
Lesson 04 - Centenarians: Keys to Longevity
Living to be 100 years old was once considered a rare occurrence, but with advancements in medicine and lifestyle changes, living to be 100 is not so improbable today. As a group, there are more centenarians worldwide than ever before, with the largest population found in America. Five places have been identified worldwide where people live the longest, healthiest lives. These "Blue Zones™" where people reach 100 years of age at significantly higher rates include the Barbagia region of Sardinia in Italy, Okinawa in Japan, the Adventists community of Loma Linda in California, the Nicoya Peninsula in Costa Rica, and the island of Ikaria in Greece. The people living in these places have achieved longevity through different paths and different cultures. The goal of this course is to describe the epidemiology and psychosocial dynamics of centenarians, examine genetic factors that contribute to longevity, and discuss the nine lessons learned from the Blue Zones.
Lesson 05 - Intimacy, Sexuality, and Healthy Aging
Loving and being loved are essential to maintaining a positive, healthy attitude. Quality of life is often related to affection and tenderness shared with loved ones. With a healthy self-esteem and a willingness to communicate with a partner, older adults can enjoy intimate relationships throughout their lives. The goal of this course is to examine the importance of intimacy and sexual needs, describe normal sexual changes in the aging adult, explain the pathological conditions affecting sexuality, and explore lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender sexual issues as they relate to getting older.