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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

Mental Health and Aging

2.0 Contact Hours
Target Audience: Nurses, healthcare professionals, and interested individuals
Purpose/Goal: The outcome of this course is for the learner to discuss the most commonly occurring mental health problems experienced by older adults and important factors related to mental health promotion and wellness, as well as strategies, therapies, and services that may be directed at improving the mental health of the elderly.
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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.

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

  • Describe the factors related to mental health promotion and wellness.
  • Identify and describe the five most common mental health and emotional disorders and the current forms of intervention and/or treatment.
  • Discuss the provision of culturally competent mental health care.
  • Explore cultural factors that influence mental health in the older adult.
  • Examine the ways that animal-assisted therapy can affect mental health.
  • Examine complementary and alternative medicine intervention and treatment methods for the elderly.
  • Evaluate the extent of mental health resources and supportive services available in the care of older adults.
  • Describe trends in mental health treatment and care of older adults.

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. The elderly population in the United States is projected to grow rapidly between 2010 and 2030 as the 76 million "baby boomers" reach 65 years of age. By 2030, older adults will account for 20% of the nation's population. The need for geriatric mental health services will increase dramatically because of the growth in this older population (Administration on Aging, 2017).

Old age can be an exciting time. However, for many of our elders the struggle to cope with difficult life situations or mental disorders can negatively affect their ability to participate actively and fully in life. Although some cognitive functions decline as a normal course of aging, loss of mental functioning may be reversible and treatable (Administration on Aging, 2017).

Diagnosing mental disorders in the aging adult can be difficult, since physical ailments usually take precedence in the minds of the older person. Multiple physical ailments and polypharmacy, as well as declining vision and hearing that affect perception of the environment, can cause confusion, disorientation, and depression. This makes it difficult for the healthcare professional to differentiate between, for example, the confusion resulting from the adverse effects of a medication and the beginning symptoms of depression or irreversible dementia.

Complicating the problem, older adults grew up during a time when there was a strong stigma associated with mental illness and they may not want family or friends or themselves to be seen as “mentally ill” and so delay or avoid treatment (Meiner, 2014). Helping older adults understand the importance of seeking assistance when they are struggling with depression, or worse, is an important role of the healthcare professional.

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 Behavioral Sciences
  • 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
  • NCBTMB -National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork
  • Florida Board of Massage Therapists
Course Expires:

July 11, 2020

  • 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.