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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

The Healthy Aging Brain

2.0 Contact Hours
Target Audience: Nurses, healthcare professionals, and interested individuals
Purpose/Goal: The outcome of this course is for the learner to describe the components of the brain and their functions; the current theories of neuroplasticity, neurogenesis, and epigenetics; and the effects of physical activity, nutrition, mental stimulation, socialization, creativity, attitude, spirituality, and meditation on the healthy aging brain.
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The brain is the most complex part of the human body. People once believed that progressive mental decline was inevitable, but now we know that the brain’s ability to age well varies from person to person and is affected by genetic predisposition, genes, life experiences, lifestyle, exposure to toxins and chemicals, accidents, trauma, and disease. Cognitive abilities do not automatically decline with age. The majority of older adults are happy. They live an active, optimistic life with many friends and they engage in leisure-time activities that increase not only their quality of life but also their longevity and the health of their brains.

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

  • Identify the components of the brain and their functions related to healthy aging.
  • Describe the three phases involved in memory.
  • Differentiate the current theories of neuroplasticity, neurogenesis, and epigenetics.
  • Describe the purpose of The Healthy Brain Initiative: A National Public Health Road Map to Maintaining Cognitive Health.
  • Discuss the benefits of physical activity, mental stimulation, nutrition, socialization, creativity, attitude, and spirituality on the aging brain.
  • Describe the effects of meditation on the aging brain.
  • Examine technological and medical advances that will impact the health of the aging brain.

Maintaining a healthy aging brain can be enjoyable because research demonstrates that the mature brain thrives on some of the very things that give pleasure and zest to life. For example, when individuals remain socially, spiritually, physically, and mentally active; practice healthy eating habits; and are creative they often feel better, experience joy, and enjoy life more fully. These actions support a healthy, pleasurable life. Living an active, optimistic life with many friends and many leisure activities increases not only the quality of life but also the longevity of the brain (Horstman, 2012).

At the beginning of the 20th century, the average life span was 47 years. Today the global average life span is 68 years, and for people born in the 21st century in Western developed countries, the average life span is approximately 80 years: almost double in little more than a century. Interestingly, the longer you live, the longer you may live.

  • For a 65-year-old woman alive today, the average life span is 84.8 years.
  • For a 75-year-old woman alive today, the average life span is 87.6 years.
  • A man who is 75 years old today can expect to live to be 85.5 years.

With modern medicine, a healthy lifestyle, and technological advances, people can expect to live longer than ever before. Centenarians (those who have reached 100 and more) are the fastest-growing demographic group in the world (Horstman, 2012).

Until recently, brain aging—and everything it entails, from the annoying inconveniences of age-related memory loss to more serious conditions like Alzheimer's and dementia— was equated with neuron failure. Researchers thought that brain neurons were continuously lost from birth onward. Research now demonstrates that if a person does not have a specific disease that causes loss of nerve cells, then most, if not all, of the neurons remain healthy until death. New research during the last decade has led to a significant, and profound, shift in the way the aging brain is viewed by science and medicine. The perspective that an aging brain does not inevitably deteriorate as one ages creates exciting possibilities about the way aging is experienced (Guttman, 2001).

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


Practice Level:


Content Focus:

Domain of OT

Course Expires:

May 30, 2019

  • 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.