Between 1996 and 2015, over 5,000 Americans per day will have turned 50 years of age — these are Americans who were born between 1946 and 1965, otherwise called the Baby Boom Generation. A focus on aging, gerontology and all the issues that focus on these topics have become a focus among online courseware programs and in government research. The following 40 educational opencourseware classes on aging and gerontology provide insight into issues such as disease, policy and death.

AgingLifespans and Aging

  1. Brain and Cognitive Sciences: This course studies the brain and its complexities, including brain issues that occur in elderly populations such as Alzheimer’s Disease [MIT].
  2. Cognitive Neuroscience: This course explores the cognitive and neural processes that support attention, vision, language, motor control, navigation, and memory [MIT].
  3. Death: This course examines a number of issues that arise once we begin to reflect on our mortality. A variety of death experiences are examined [Open Yale].
  4. Health Across the Life Span: Frameworks, Contexts, and Measurements: This course focuses on the basic principles which guide growth and development and the health of individuals across the lifespan [Johns Hopkins].
  5. Human Growth and Development: One can follow the development of motor, language or cognitive capacities and skills from the beginning of life to its end [Tufts].
  6. Human Memory and Learning: This course surveys the literature on the cognitive and neural organization of human memory and learning [MIT].
  7. Introduction to Clinical Pain Problems: This course introduces the general principles of biomedical evaluation and management of common clinical pain problems [Tufts].
  8. Living with death and dying: This unit will explore how knowledge and beliefs about death and encounters with death affect people’s lives [Open University].
  9. Neural Basis of Learning and Memory: This course highlights the interplay between cellular and molecular storage mechanisms and the cognitive neuroscience of memory [MIT].
  10. Parkinson’s Disease Workshop: Although this disease can strike at any age, the workshop approaches topics that are relevant to geriatric care.
  11. Population Medicine: This course, designed for physicians, is meant to shift attention away from the pathophysiologic effects of disease on individuals and refocus it on a much bigger question: what connection will the physician and his/her patients have with the health of the public? This course approaches gerontology [Tufts].
  12. Principles of Pharmacology: This course teaches students an approach to the study of pharmacologic agents. Topics include geriatric care.
  13. Psychosocial Aspects of Visual Impairment: This course investigates the psychosocial aspects of vision loss [UMass Boston].
  14. The Biopsychosocial Model of Health and Illness: This course aims to define the biopsychosocial model and delineate the position of health psychology in different environments [Rice Connexions].
  15. The Radical Consequences of Respiration: Reactive Oxygen Species in Aging and Disease: This course starts with a survey of basic oxygen radical biochemistry followed by a discussion of the mechanisms of action of cellular as well as dietary antioxidants [MIT].
  16. The Wisdom Years: The Wisdom Years documentary offers glimpses into the urban lives of 70-, 80- and 90-year-olds of different socio-economic backgrounds [United Nations University].

Old AgeHealth and Health Policy Issues

  1. Addiction and neural aging: The aim of this unit is to present a short exploration of original research articles and detailed commentaries within a framework that highlights the complex nature of addiction and neural aging [Open University].
  2. Advancing Integrative Psychological Research on Adaptive and Healthy Aging: This workshop [Podcast] was organized by the Institute of Personality and Social Research of the University of California, Berkeley and the Division of Behavioral and Social Research of the National Institute on Aging/National Institutes of Health [Webcast Berkeley].
  3. Aging: This is the final part of a learning module on minority studies [Rice Connexions].
  4. Aging and disability: transitions into residential care: This unit considers working with people in group care and residential settings [Open University].
  5. Aging, Health, and Diversity: The goal of this seminar [Podcast] is to provide a critical examination of aging and health from a broad, multicultural perspective [Webcast Berkeley].
  6. Elderly and Activity: Physical activity directly influences the risk of chronic illness, loss of function, dependence, and death [Wikiversity].
  7. Geriatric Dentistry: This course considers dental needs of the rapidly changing and ethnically diverse geriatric population [Tufts].
  8. Health Issues for Aging Populations: This course introduces the study of aging, its implications for individuals, families, and society, and the background for health policy related to older persons [Johns Hopkins].
  9. Introduction to Methods for Health Services Research and Evaluation: Public health officials can learn more about evaluating services. The course also provides “the state of the art” in research and evaluation through the review of major completed studies [Johns Hopkins].
  10. Managed Care and Health Insurance: Key topics in this course include population care management techniques, provider payment, organizational integration, quality and accountability, cost-containment, and public policy [Johns Hopkins].
  11. Managing Long-Term Care Services for Aging Populations: This course reviews care and service systems from the unique perspective of an aging population, including the physiological and psychological changes common among seniors [Johns Hopkins].
  12. Nutrition and Aging [PDF]: This course supplement covers the issues involved with nutrition and aging, including symptoms and remedies [Tufts].
  13. Neurology, Neuropsychology, and Neurobiology of Aging: Lectures and discussions in this course cover the clinical, behavioral, and molecular aspects of the brain aging processes in humans [MIT].
  14. Workshop on Aging: This is the first session [Podcast] in a workshop on aging, including “Fundamental Social and Affective Processes in Aging [Webcast Berkeley].
  15. Workshop on Aging II: This is a continuation of the same workshop noted above. In this session [Podcast], the topic, “Healthy Aging over the Lifecourse” is discussed [Webcast Berkeley].

RetirementInformation Web Sites

  1. Aging Journal: This is an open-access impact journal on aging that provides the latest news, archives, recent breakthroughs in medicine and tests and much more.
  2. Alliance for Aging Research: This site belongs to the nation’s leading non-profit organization dedicated to supporting and accelerating the pace of medical discoveries to improve the experience of aging and health.
  3. American Society on Aging: The ASA is the largest organization of multidisciplinary professionals in the field of aging. Their resources, publications, and educational opportunities are geared to enhance the knowledge and skills of people working with older adults and their families.
  4. Health and Human Services Aging: This section of the site offering a variety of topics and information to help with your research or real-life aging care needs.
  5. Healthy Aging: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offers an entire site on how to age healthy, including interactive data tools and information about care giving and mental health.
  6. National institute on Aging: This site contains information on Alzheimer’s disease, information about clinical trials and NIA-sponsored research as well as information about grants and training.
  7. U.S. Special Committee on Aging: The Senate Special Committee on Aging was first established in 1961 as a temporary committee. It was granted permanent status on February 1, 1977.
  8. WebMD Healthy Aging Health Center: This Web site approaches physical, mental and emotional health of aging populations.
  9. World Health Organization Aging: WHO broaches the topics of international aging populations.

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