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Starts at $9.98 per contact hour
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8 hours $7.98
12 hours $6.98
20 hours $5.98
30 hours $4.98

Physiology of Aging

2.4 Contact Hours
Target Audience: Nurses, healthcare professionals, and interested individuals
Purpose/Goal: The outcome of this course is for the learner to define aging, review the theories of aging, and examine the physical changes in body systems associated with aging. This course will review changes in the cardiovascular, endocrine, gastrointestinal, immune, integumentary, musculoskeletal, nervous, reproductive, respiratory, sensory, and urinary systems.
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There are more older adults in the United States than ever before in history, making this segment one of the fastest-growing portions of the population. The appropriate care of older adults requires healthcare providers to have a solid understanding of the physiologic changes that accompany aging. This course explores aging, reviews the theories of aging, and examine the physical changes in body systems associated with aging.

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

  • Define aging and describe the changing perception of aging in the United States.
  • Describe elements of an effective health care assessment of the aging adult.
  • State the physiologic changes of aging related to the cardiovascular system.
  • State the physiologic changes of aging related to the endocrine system.
  • State the physiologic changes of aging related to the gastrointestinal system.
  • State the physiologic changes of aging related to the immune system.
  • Describe the physiologic changes of aging related to the integumentary system.
  • State the physiologic changes of aging related to the musculoskeletal system and describe how physical activity affects these changes.
  • State the physiologic changes of aging related to the nervous system and the reproductive system.
  • State the physiologic changes of aging related to the respiratory, sensory, and urinary systems.

Today, more than ever before, America’s concepts of what it means to be old and at what age one becomes old are changing.

In 2009, more than 39 million persons in the United States were 65 years of age and older. Not only has the number of persons over age 65 increased, but the proportion of this group to the total population has also increased. By the year 2030, it is estimated that one in every five Americans will be over age 65 (Meiner, 2014).

The most rapid and dramatic growth for the older adult segment of the U.S. population began in 2010 and is expected to continue through 2030 when the “baby boom” generation reaches 65 years of age, widely accepted as the age at which a person becomes “old” (Meiner, 2014).


Aging is defined as a “normal physiologic process that is both universal and inevitable” and a process that occurs at both a cellular and a molecular level. It is the “timedependent loss of structure . . . a gradual result of ‘wear and tear’ on the body” (McCance & Grey, 2012, p. 90).

While for many the age of 65 is equated with being “old,” reaching this age should not be equated with inactive frailty. The rate and intensity of aging are highly variable and individual. Although the incidence of chronic disease and disability does increase with age, most older people remain functionally independent (Meiner, 2014).

Biological age is arbitrary while chronological age is not. Younger individuals may exhibit changes associated with aging and require the services of a geriatric specialist while older individuals may be in excellent health and require no such services. Factors such as race, heredity, nutrition, lifestyle, and culture play significant roles in health and longevity. For example, physical activity has been shown to have protective effects against coronary artery disease, hypertension, and noninsulin dependent diabetes. People become more unique as they age, not more alike. Because of this, and because aging is a distinct, and distinctive, part of life, many healthcare providers struggle to understand older adults (Saxon, Etten, & Perkins, 2015).

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:

March 18, 2021

  • 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.