Overview of Courses

Stethoscope on a counter top with a pulse reading reflecting on the counter.

Geriatric Scholars Community offers learning opportunities for primary care providers to improve care of older adults. Flexible courses include archived webinars, videos, clinical demonstrations of geriatric assessment tools, and comprehensive toolkits & reference materials. Course topics are prioritized according to the expressed learning needs of primary care providers and staff.

Forums serve to connect learners on topics of interest and share program announcements. Participate in journal clubs to engage with peers on cutting edge research.  Take part in recurring live webinars or access archived sessions if you’re unable to join and leave a question or comment in the forum.

Chronic Disease is a long-term condition that can be managed but not cured. Chronic diseases – such as heart disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes, and arthritis – are among the most common, costly, and preventable of all health problems in the U.S. Moreover, older adults have a high frequency of multiple chronic conditions, which require a more complex care plan. This course provides primary care professionals with an overview of chronic illnesses as well as tools for more effective assessment and management of older patients.

Dementia: An elderly man with his hand on his cheek and eyes closed while looking confused.

The prevalence of dementia is increasing with the rapid growth of the older adult population.  Dementia is the loss of cognitive functioning—thinking, remembering, and reasoning—and changes in function and behavior. This course will review important aspects of dementia as well as steps that primary care providers and staff can take to assess it and help older persons to manage it.

End of Life Care: A health care professional standing behind an elderly man in a wheelchair. She is leaning over and giving the man a hug.

End of life care Geriatric palliative and end of life care is distinct in its focus. Topics include discussion starters to help providers initiate the end of life conversation with older persons, an overview of advance care planning, as well as the range of palliative care and hospice services that are available to those they care for.

Falls: An elderly man's hand gripping his walker.

Falls threaten the health of older adults and can limit their ability to remain independent. However, there are proven interventions that can reduce falls and help older adults live better and longer. Falls are common, with one in every three adults age 65 and older experiencing a fall each year. Falls can cause moderate to severe injuries, such as hip fractures and head traumas, and can increase the risk of early death. This course will review the risks of falls among older adults as well as steps that can be taken to prevent, assess, and manage them in the primary care setting.

Interdisciplinary Teamwork: Photograph of five health care professionals.

There are many strong reasons for teamwork in primary care. Teams are patient-centered and helpful in addressing difficult health and psychosocial issues. Studies show that complex older patients manage better when every health care provider involved in their care work together to develop a plan of care. In this course, an introduction to working in interdisciplinary teams is provided as well as tools for assessing and improving the dynamics of primary care teams. 

Medication Management: A hand holding a variety of pills.

Older adults are at increased risk of drug-related problems arising from medication overuse. This course will review the causes of polypharmacy in older adults as well as steps that can be taken to assess and reduce medication overuse.

Mental Health: A mental health care provider consulting with her patient.

Mental Health is both undertreated and under recognized in older persons, and there may be stigma surrounding mental health treatment. Topics include depression, delirium, post-traumatic stress disorder, spiritual needs, barriers to care, substance abuse, and elder mistreatment. After completing this course, learners will better understand the importance of incorporating awareness and understanding of mental health issues in their care of older persons.

Rural Health: A green field with sky and trees in the horizon.

There are over 62 million Americans currently residing in rural areas. Individuals living in rural areas have traditionally been underserved with regard to health care access. The reasons for this are multiple and varied, but mainly stem from the need to travel long distances to health care facilities, lack of health insurance, lack of specialized care and an inadequate number of health care providers working in rural areas. As a result, rural populations tend to be in poorer health than urban populations. Economic factors, cultural and social differences, educational shortcomings, and the isolation of living in remote rural areas all influence rural Americans’ efforts to lead a healthy life. This course provides an overview of rural health issues, a portrait of unique subpopulations, and strategies for connecting with older rural patients.

Sexual Health: An African American couple standing side by side with their arms around the other's shoulders. They are smiling at the camera with their heads leaning in towards each other.

Sexual health is an important part of successful aging for all older adults. Sexuality is the verbal, visual, tactile & olfactory communication which expresses love and intimacy between two people. Aging and functional decline associated with disease burden impacts your patient’s sexuality. This course will provide an introduction to sexuality among older adults, review prevailing myths, and suggest ways of initiating discussion and assessing sexual health and behavior. 

Successful Aging: A senior couple riding bike in the park.

Well-being & Quality of Life in Old Age is a dynamic process over the course of one’s lifespan. While there is no single definition, maintaining low risk of disease and disease-related disability, high levels of mental and physical health, and active engagement with life are all aspects aging well. Topics include nutrition, community support, oral health, physical activity, functional status, immunizations, as well as patient and caregiver resources.

Last modified: Tuesday, May 30, 2017, 9:52 AM