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Aging and Positive Psychology: Cognitive, Personality, Health, Biological, and Clinical Issues

10 CE Credit Hours - Online Course - $69.00

Developed by Michael Brickey, Ph.D., ABPP

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

This course is also offered as part of a Pre-licensing Savings Package of pre-requisite courses.

This course is also offered as part of a Certificate Program: Positive Psychology 39 CE Credit Hours.

Course materials: text/webpage Articles    audio Audios

Transcripts are available for ALL MP3s in pdf format.

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General Course Description

Since 1900, American life expectancy jumped from 47 to almost 79 years. The number of Americans 65 and older went from 3.1 million in 1900 to 35 million in 2000 and is projected to reach 98.2 million in 2060. 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 become longer and people look and function younger at older ages. What can psychology and positive psychology teach us about how to live longer, healthier, and happier? This course uses articles and interviews with aging and anti-aging experts to consider cognitive and personality research and clinical issues. The focus is on what helps people age better and live longer as opposed to focusing on decline and pathology. The content is both relevant to you aging better and to helping clients age better and deal with the challenges of aging.

In this intermediate course, the articles consider demographic characteristics of older Americans, nursing homes and alternatives to nursing homes, diagnostic and counseling considerations with dementia, and quality of life issues. Because elder abuse is a complicated and sometimes subtle issue with serious legal and ethical issues, the course includes guidelines on identifying and reporting elder abuse. Additional resources and references are provided for further study, but they are not part of the course.

Often the best way to get a feel for researchers and their research is to hear them. The course has eight MP3 interviews with aging and anti-aging experts. Each interview is about 40 minutes long. Separate PDF files give bios and notes for each of these interviews, and there is a PDF transcript for each of the eight MP3 files.

Educational Objectives

This course will teach the participant to:

1.    Cite demographic information on US seniors.

2.    Identify and report elder abuse.

3.    Identify critical measures CMS uses to evaluate the quality of nursing home services.

4.    Describe cutting edge alternatives to nursing homes.

5.    Describe evidence-based research about medical practices that often do more harm than good.

6.    Discuss issues in Boomer transitions and how to guide Boomers and seniors in developing a fulfilling sex life.

7.    Report on research on happiness and what increases happiness.

8.    Identify what longitudinal research finds about lifestyles and longevity.

9.    Distinguish between types of dementia.

10.    Discuss how to counsel patients with dementia.


Department of Health and Human Services. (2015). A Profile of Older Americans. Retrieved from https://www.acl.gov/sites/default/files/Aging%20and%20Disability%20in%20America/2015-Profile.pdf

National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. (2013). The dementias: Hope through research. Retrieved from https://www.ninds.nih.gov/Disorders/Patient-Caregiver-Education/Hope-Through-Research/Dementia-Hope-Through-Research

United States government Accountability Office. (2015). Nursing home quality: CMS should continue to improve data and oversight. Retrieved from https://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-16-33

Course Syllabus

Aging and Positive Psychology

  • A Profile of Older Americans
  • Elder Abuse and How to Report Elder Abuse
  • Healthcare Directives, Living Wills, DNR, and Financial Power of Attorney
  • Nursing Home Quality Measures
  • The Dementias: Hope Through Research

Unique set of interviews (MP3s) with Anti-aging experts:

  • Beth Baker: "Greenhouse" alternatives to Nursing Homes
  • John Erickson: A Visionary Redefines Aging and Retirement
  • Alan Zelicoff, MD: Evidence-based Medicine and Common Harmful Medical Practices and Treatments
  • Jeff Johnson, Ph.D. & Paula Forman, Ph.D.: Baby Boomer Life Transitions
  • Robert Birch, Ph.D.: A Fulfilling Sex Life for Boomers and Seniors
  • Sonja Lyubomirsky, Ph.D.: What Research Says About Being Happy
  • Leslie Martin, Ph.D.: The Longevity Project: What an 80-year Longitudinal Research Project Found About Lifestyle and Longevity
  • Marc Agronin, MD: Counseling Patients with Dementia
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