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Aging, Long-term Care, and Positive Psychology

3 CE Credit Hours - Online Course - $29.00

Developed by Michael Brickey, Ph.D., ABPP

Course fulfills the CA-BBS Aging and Long-Term Care requirements. Check with your state's licensing board.

Course materials: text/webpage Articles

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General Course Description

Between 1900 and 2018, American life expectancy jumped from 47 to 78.8 years. Advances in genetic engineering, tissue engineering, stem cell therapies, nanotechnology, hormone therapies, and other fields are likely to foster a longevity revolution in which lifespans get much longer and people look and function younger at older ages. What can psychology in general and positive psychology teach us about how to live longer, healthier, and happier?

This introductory course focuses on what research on aging and research on centenarians (people 100+ years old) can teach us about living longer, healthier, and happier and how therapists can apply this knowledge to their clients (and to themselves).

Because identifying and reporting elder abuse is an important clinical issue, the course also includes information on identifying and reporting elder abuse. Additional resources and references are provided for further study, but they are not part of the course.

Educational Objectives

This course will teach the participant to:

1.    Be familiar with definitions of aging, pertinent research and professional organizations, long-term care facilities, types of dementia, the effect of aging on brains, and how scientific advances are likely to impact aging.

2.    Identify what research finds about what personality traits, beliefs, and behaviors are associated with living longer, healthier, and happier lives.

3.    Identify and report elder abuse and neglect.


Blanco, Nathaniel J., Love, Brady C., Ramscar, Michael, Otto, A. Ross, Smayda, Kristen C., & Maddox, W. Todd. (2016). Exploratory decision-making as a function of lifelong experience, not cognitive decline. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 145, 284-297.

Czaja, Sara J. (2016). Long-term care services and support systems for older adults: The role of technology. American Psychologist, 71, 294-301.

Smith, Glenn E. (2016). Healthy cognitive aging and dementia prevention. American Psychologist, 71, 268-275.

Course Syllabus

Definitions and Dementias

Longevity and Medical Advances

27 beliefs and lifestyles that support living longer, healthier, and happier

A primer on Identifying and reporting elder abuse

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