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Starts at $9.98 per contact hour
Min. Hours $$/Hr
4 hours $8.98
8 hours $7.98
12 hours $6.98
20 hours $5.98
30 hours $4.98

Spiritual Dimensions of Aging

2.2 Contact Hours
Target Audience: Nurses, healthcare professionals, and interested individuals
Purpose/Goal: The outcome of this course is for the learner to describe the process of spiritual development in the aging individual.
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Aging presents unique challenges to an individual’s spiritual growth, development, and expression. The relationships between loss, hope, love, sexuality, religion, and health can profoundly affect spirituality in the older adult. In addition, spirituality and religion help the aging adult cope with personal difficulties, stress, surgery, and chronic diseases. Finally, the development of spirituality in the aging adult incorporates the cultural wisdom and spiritual wisdom of elders.

Upon completion of the course, you will be able to do the following:

  • Describe the unique spiritual challenges of aging.
  • Describe the process of spiritual development in the aging individual.
  • Explain the relationship between loss, hope, spirituality, and aging.
  • Describe the relationship between love, sexuality, and spirituality in the older adult.
  • Explain the relationship between religion, spirituality, aging, and health.
  • Identify how spirituality and religion help the aging adult cope with personal difficulties, stress, surgery, chronic illness, and cancer.
  • Describe cultural wisdom and the role of spiritual elders.

The second half of life is a turning point—a time in which personal, social, and cultural goals are quite different from those of the first half of life. Creating a new self-image, adjusting to physical and mental changes of aging, adapting to a simpler lifestyle, and seeking quality of life become important objectives that can be realized through the dynamic, integrative process of spirituality (O’Brien, 2014).

A little more than 100 years ago, these goals were only dreams, since most human beings did not live long enough for issues related to the “second half” of life to be important.

The older population—persons 65 years or older—numbered 46.2 million in 2014 (the latest year for which data are available). They represented 14.5% of the U.S. population, about one in every seven Americans. By 2060, there will be about 98 million older persons, more than twice their number in 2014. People 65+ represented 14.5% of the population in the year 2014 but are expected to grow to be 21.7% of the population by 2040 (Administration on Aging, 2017).

In 2014, 3.4 million persons celebrated their 65th birthday. Census estimates showed an annual net increase between 2013 and 2014 of 1.5 million in the number of persons age 65 and over.

Between 1980 and 2014, the centenarian population experienced a larger percentage increase than did the total population. There were 72,197 persons aged 100 or more in 2014 (0.2% of the total 65+ population). This is more than double the 1980 figure of 32,194 (Administration on Aging, 2017).

Interestingly, though, what contributes to a long lifespan is still controversial. Some say that genetic causes account for only a small portion of the lifespan before the age of 60 years and that psychological, social, and behavioral factors could play a role (Koenig, 2008).

People struggle with questions like, “Is it ethical to remove elders from their homes when they are no longer able to care for themselves?” or “Does a 95-year-old deserve the same medical interventions as a 45-year-old with a similar condition?” As life expectancy increases, there is a great deal of interest in what it means to live longer and to age well and to age with grace.

Everyone ages, and nearly everyone has older siblings, friends, and parents, causing these issues to take on personal importance. Research has produced a greater understanding of the physical, emotional, economic, spiritual, and social aspects of this phase of life.

For many, however, the concept of aging remains ambiguous. Is it an ascent or a decline? Despite the varied opinions about aging, one question remains: How can people continue to live longer and enjoy a life filled with meaning and joy?

Complete the course post exam (CE Test) with a score of 80% or greater. Complete all fields of the course evaluation form. Certificate of Completion is provided once the course post exam is passed per criteria above.

  • American Board of Managed Care Nursing
  • ANCC - American Nurses Credentialing Center
  • AOTA - American Occupational Therapy Association
  • ASWB - Association of Social Work Boards
  • California Board of Registered Nursing
  • California Department of Health, Aid, and Technician Certification Section
  • District of Columbia Board of Nursing
  • Florida Board of Nursing
  • Florida Board of Nursing - Certified Nursing Assistants
  • Florida Board of Respiratory Care
  • Florida Council of Dietetics and Nutrition
  • Florida Council of Licensed Midwifery
  • NAADAC - The National Association of Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counselors


Practice Level:


Content Focus:

Domain of OT

Course Expires:

February 01, 2023

  • Cyndie Koopsen, RN, BSN, MBA, HNB-BC, RN-BC, HWNC-BC
  • Caroline Young, MPH
Jurisdictional Requirements:

Continuing education (CE) licensing requirements vary by jurisdiction, are not well defined, and may change. These CE requirements may vary in terms of the number of hours required to the types of courses that must be taken. ALLEGRA Learning Solutions, LLC recommends you contact your licensing board or accrediting organization for the latest continuing education requirements of your state or territory. Compliance with CE requirements is the responsibility of the individual health care provider. Health care providers must understand the CE requirements in their jurisdictions, and be sure they are up-to-date on any rule changes that affect their license. For further information, please see our Accreditation Information.

Accommodations for Disabilities:

Every effort will be made to accommodate your special needs. To request accommodations, please contact us.

Conflicts of Interest and Relevant Financial Relationships:

The authors/planning committee members have no conflicts of interests or relevant financial relationships to declare relevant to this activity.

Commercial Support:

No commercial support has been received for this activity.

Non-endorsement of products:

Accreditation refers to recognition of continuing nursing education only and does not imply ALLEGRA Learning Solutions, LLC approval or endorsement of any commercial product.

Off-label Use of Products:

None of the authors intend to discuss off-label uses of drugs, mechanical devices, biologics, or diagnostics not approved by the FDA for use in the United States.