Certificate in Gerontology

Certificate in Gerontology

Learn to develop the skills to meet the health care needs of an aging population. This course delivers the information you need to work with people over age 65, including assessing and managing pain, understanding common issues in aging, dealing with elder abuse, exploring mental health issues in aging, and understanding the process of dying and death.

6 Weeks Access / 25 Course Hrs
  • Details
  • Syllabus
  • Requirements
  • Instructor
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The Certificate in Gerontology represents a specialization in the field of gerontology. It is designed to enhance the knowledge and skills of individuals who work with or care for older adults by providing an educational experience that is multidisciplinary in nature. The demand for knowledgeable providers to meet the needs of this population is dramatically increasing, new jobs are being developed, and new services created. Individuals who work with the older population will need continuing professional education to gain a broad understanding of the field of gerontology and healthy aging and to stay current with emerging trends such as mental health, abuse, pain assessment and management, sleep, disorders of communication, and dementias (including Alzheimer's disease).

The outcome of this course is for the learner to describe topics in gerontology including Alzheimer's Disease, death and dying, elder abuse, healthy aging, mental health, sleep disorders, and pain management.

(25 contact hours)

Expiration Date (Next date of course revision): 03/18/2027

Conflicts of Interest and Relevant Financial Relationships: The authors/planning committee members have no conflicts of interest or relevant financial relationships to declare relevant to this activity.

Non-endorsement of Products: Accreditation refers to recognition of continuing nursing education only and does not imply ALLEGRA approval or endorsement of any commercial product.


American Nurses Credentialing Center

ALLEGRA Learning Solutions, LLC is accredited as a provider of nursing continuing professional development by the American Nurses Credentialing Center's Commission on Accreditation.

ALLEGRA Learning Solutions, LLC is accredited with distinction as a provider of nursing continuing professional development by the American Nurses Credentialing Center's Commission on Accreditation.

Accreditation refers to recognition of continuing nursing education only and does not imply ALLEGRA Learning Solutions or Commission on Accreditation approval or endorsement of any commercial product(s).

ALLEGRA Learning Solutions courses are acceptable for continuing education in all states.

American Board of Managed Care Nursing

The American Board of Managed Care Nursing recognizes all of ALLEGRA Learning Solutions' ANCC accredited courses for continuing education credit for Certified Managed Care Nurses (CMCNs).

National Association of Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counselors

ALLEGRA Learning Solutions is an approved provider with the National Association of Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counselors (NAADAC) (Provider #107194).

National Certification Board for Diabetes Educators

ALLEGRA Learning Solutions, LLC is accredited as a provider of continuing nursing education by the American Nurses Credentialing Center's Commission on Accreditation. To satisfy the requirement for renewal of certification by continuing education for the National Certification Board for Diabetes Educators (NCBDE), continuing education activities must be applicable to diabetes and approved by a provider on the NCBDE List of Recognized Providers (www.ncbde.org). NCBDE does not approve continuing education.

National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork

ALLEGRA Learning Solutions, LLC is approved by the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork (NCBTMB) as a continuing education Approved Provider (Provider Number 451562-11).


Opportunities are unlimited for the individual who knows the field of gerontology. Demographic changes and changes in health care have influenced the development of a variety of roles in this field. This course will provide a broad overview of the field of gerontology and discuss the characteristics of older adults, the sociology of aging, theories of aging, stereotypes and ageism, physiological and psychological changes of aging, mental health, wellness and aging, and complementary and alternative health care methods that may benefit the older adult.

There are more elderly adults in the United States than ever before in history, making this segment one of the fastest-growing portions of the population. The appropriate care of older adults requires healthcare providers to have a solid understanding of the physiologic changes that accompany aging.

The enormous increase in the diverse elderly population has prompted a vital societal challenge: the design and delivery of mental health services to the older adult. Because the elderly population in the United States and globally is projected to grow rapidly, the need for geriatric mental health services will also increase dramatically. Continued intellectual, social, and physical activity throughout the life cycle are important for the maintenance of mental health in later life. This course explores the issues of mental wellness strategies for the aging adult, cultural diversity as it relates to mental health, and traditional as well as integrative therapies to support mental health in the aging population.

This course is designed to introduce the health professional to a broad, conceptually integrated perspective on the topic of healthy aging.

Pain is a symptom that signals distress in virtually every population and every age. To provide quality care to aging adults, healthcare providers must be particularly skilled in assessing pain, understanding misconceptions of pain management, addressing cultural issues in pain management, and providing effective pain therapies.

What is grief? What are normal grief responses? What is involved in the final life transition—death? These are some of the questions that will be discussed in this course. The role of culture, palliative and hospice care, advance directives, and the role of spirituality in death and dying will be described. Interactions, healing strategies, and rituals that use the senses and bring comfort and peace for the dying will also be explored.

Sleep is essential to a healthy, productive life. While sleep disorders and changes affect all of us as we age, older adults undergo many sleep-related changes that can affect their physical and psychological well-being.

America is growing older and most older Americans are women. Today's older woman is part of a diverse group that varies in income, education level, health, functional abilities, living arrangements, and access to support services. Because women live longer than men, they face unique economic, social, and health challenges.

Older adults today are vibrant, independent, living longer, and in better health than their ancestors. However, as this growing population increases, so does the issue of caring for elderly individuals. Caregivers must often cope with stressful economic and personal burdens when caring for the elderly, who pay the price for this stress and may be abused, exploited, or neglected.

Communication links all human beings together. As individuals age, their ability to perceive information through their senses is often distorted or impaired. Age-related sensory changes impact the quality of life and the quality of communication. Aging adults must compensate for these changes and families must be sensitive to the often-silent process of sensory deterioration in their aging family member.

Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a condition in which the concept of loss is profound and central—the loss of one's memories, independence, ability to recognize loved ones, and dignity. Often referred to as "the long goodbye," AD is the most common type of dementia, affecting millions of Americans. It is responsible for billions of dollars annually in healthcare costs. However, new research is providing hope for those with Alzheimer's disease as well as for their families and caregivers.



There are no prerequisites to take this course.


Hardware Requirements:

  • This course can be taken on either a PC, Mac, or Chromebook.

Software Requirements:

  • PC: Windows 10 or later.
  • Mac: macOS 10.6 or later.
  • Browser: The latest version of Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox are preferred. Microsoft Edge and Safari are also compatible.
  • Adobe Acrobat Reader.
  • Software must be installed and fully operational before the course begins.


  • Email capabilities and access to a personal email account.

Instructional Material Requirements:

The instructional materials required for this course are included in enrollment and will be available online.

Completion Requirements:

You must complete all lessons to receive your certificate. You must pass the final exam in all lessons with a score of 80% or higher AND complete the Evaluation Form in order to receive your Certificate of Completion. Finals are graded as Pass or No Pass. Receipt of your certificate indicates successful completion of the course and that you have passed all final exams with a score of 80% or greater. You may retake final exams as many times as necessary within the duration of the course at no additional charge.


Cyndie Koopsen

Cyndie Koopsen, RN, BSN, MBA, HNB-BC, RN-BC, HWNC-BC is a nurse who has cared for patients in acute care settings, community clinics, and the home. Her professional nursing career has involved nursing executive leadership and administration, accreditation consultation, staff development and education, community education and wellness, and holistic care. She has designed, developed, and presented numerous educational programs for audiences covering integrative health, promotion and wellness, and chronic disease management and prevention. She is the co-author (with Caroline Young) of two health care textbooks. She is the co-CEO and co-founder of ALLEGRA Learning Solutions, LLC and has designed and developed over 300 online professional continuing education courses.

Caroline Young

Caroline Young, M.P.H., has an extensive public health background that includes experience in research, workshop presentations in various areas of health care, and online and onsite teaching. She has expertise in holistic community health and wellness program design, development, marketing, implementation, and evaluation. She has also designed, developed, and presented integrative health programs for culturally diverse populations, senior populations, and faith communities. She is the co-author (with Cyndie Koopsen) of two health care textbooks. She is the co-CEO and co-founder of ALLEGRA Learning Solutions, LLC and has designed and developed over 300 online professional continuing education courses.


I really enjoyed this course. I think the study material in each lesson was well prepared and presented. I would recommend this to others in the geriatric field who are interested in expanding their knowledge and patient care skills. Thank You.

Yippee!!! I made it. Finally done the entire course! Many thanks to the instructors Miss Cyndie and Miss Caroline. The lessons were very informative although I actually felt overwhelmed upon seeing the course outline at the beginning. After finishing it, I now have a new perspective in dealing with our older folks. I will certainly consider enrolling again here for my future CE needs. To my fellow students, especially those sharing their insights, thank you.

As a social scientist, this course was VERY interesting but more difficult than the others, for me. More science and more challenging for me to grasp. At the same time, probably learned the most new stuff to apply to my work as a case manager. Great!

I am finding the information very informative. I do a great deal for my parents and my father has spent some time in a nursing home so I can relate to what we are reading. I teach Human Services and am always looking for new ways to improve my curriculum. I think this course will really help me to have a stronger curriculum about the elderly and the aging process.

I am a clergy person and many of my parishioners are elderly. I always try to be sensitive to their needs. I've found the majority of older people to be assets in their communities. I took this course because I want to be able to serve this population more effectively, especially around issues of spirituality, grief, and health. I found the course material to be interesting and applicable to some of my pastoral care work…I will review some of the references in more detail. I definitely want to learn about the theories of aging.

This course has been a great asset , with a wealth of information for me in the business I am now working in. Thank you and the staff for putting together such a great curriculum, for those of us who have compassion, commitment, and time for the lives and well being of the elderly.

This course have really brought clarity to a lot of misconceptions about the elderly level of care, medical terminology, myths and confusion about caring for the older adults. Thanks for this amazing opportunity to get such great knowledge from such great scholars.

The best part of this class was that every piece of information was backed up with research. All information was presented unbiased. I am so thrilled and excited that this course was exactly what I wanted. I want the freedom to go my pace, all was presented and it was up to me to do one chapter a day or five chapters a week. I love it! Thanks.

I found that this course gave me a greater insight on caring for the geriatric population. I have a better understanding of the changes that occur with aging and the losses one must endure as they grow old. I feel that I gained a much better understanding about Alzheimer's Disease and Dementia and I will be able to use this knowledge at work. I will be able to implement many of the communication strategies to improve the quality of care I provide and the quality of life for my residents.

I am presently a Senior Psychology Supervisor for two skilled nursing facilities at a State Psychiatric Hospital. I have learned an enormous amount and have applied this knowledge in supervising psychologists, and at case reviews. I graduated with a Masters in Social Work -Gerontology Track in the eighties, and earned my licensed as a clinical social worker. Later I earned a Clinical Psychology degree and a license. I am now back in Gerontology and am so appreciative that I found this course.

Self-Guided Course Code: T9210
Instructor-Moderated Course Code: all