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Advanced Concepts in an Aging Society

Advanced Concepts in an Aging Society

A Joint Certificate Course Offered by the American Society on Aging and the USC Leonard Davis School of Gerontology 

Spring session: March 22-April 23, 2021

Cost: $500 per course for ASA members
Not a member of ASA? Join and register simultaneously for $750 

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Course Description

The University of Southern California is home to the oldest and largest school of gerontology in the world—the USC Leonard Davis School of Gerontology. ASA and USC have joined forces to offer a new opportunity—exclusively available to ASA members—to earn a certificate of completion from USC in a convenient and flexible online format. 

Over the course of five weeks, USC faculty will explain several advanced concepts related to our aging society and will provide important perspectives to help you understand some of the most pressing challenges the unprecedented aging of our population presents.  Those who recognize what an aging society needs and desires will be at an advantage in business and industry as well as in the public policy arena.  

The course description, below, details what will be covered during the five-week online course. Supplemental readings will help to enhance your understanding of the five modules. Each week’s lectures, readings and activities will take approximately 2-3 hours to complete. Participants must pass a weekly quiz with a score of 80% or higher and complete a final course evaluation to earn the certificate of completion.

Agenda

The Epidemiology of Aging

The United States is transforming demographically as is the rest of the world.  Those changes in demographics will have a tremendous impact on individuals, communities and society as a whole. Week 1 reviews the changes in demographics and looks more specifically at what conditions and diseases are likely to be prevalent in the coming years. As the population ages all but a small percentage of individuals will live with at least one chronic disease such as arthritis, diabetes, osteoporosis, and dementia and many will be living with multiple chronic diseases. 

Instructors:

Caroline Cicero, PhD, MSW, MPL
Instructional Associate Professor and Director, USC Age-Friendly University Initiative 

Donna Benton, PhD
Research Associate Professor and Director, Family Caregiver Support Center 

Jessica Ho, PhD
Assistant Professor of Gerontology and Sociology

Learning Objectives 

After completing Week 1, participants will be able to:  

  1. Identify demographic changes and population aging.
  2. Describe epidemiology and its importance in aging studies.
  3. Define mortality, disease status, comorbidity, disability and chronic conditions.
  4. Identify the top 10 chronic diseases associated with aging.
  5. Analyze what societal impacts and health and social policy responses will be required in the near future and beyond. 

In addition to watching the video lecture and completing the reading assignments, we will engage in an interactive quiz that reinforces these concepts.

The Older Adult Support Ratios and Wealth Distribution 

Providing support for the aging baby boom generation raises questions about retirement age, immigration, pension programs and taxation. These issues will all become the subject of intense debate in the coming years as we look at the sustainability of our current social support structures. In addition to the challenges the aging population presents, it also presents an abundance of opportunity for those inclined to tap in to the vast disposable income of what many consider the wealthiest generation in history. In Week 2, we learn about wealth distribution among older adults, reflect on how we will come to terms with the widening gap in wealth among various populations, identify what policies and programs might be enacted in order to mitigate accumulated disadvantage and consider various reforms to our current health care system.

Instructors:

Caroline Cicero, PhD, MSW, MPL
Instructional Associate Professor and Director, USC Age-Friendly University Initiative 

Reginald Tucker-Seeley, MA, ScM, ScD
Edward L. Schneider Assistant Professor of Gerontology 

Learning Objectives

After completing Week 2, participants will be able to:  

  1. Define Older Adult Support Ratio and Prospective Support ratio and their generational impact.
  2. Discuss intergenerational wealth distribution in the United States.
  3. Analyze the causes of older adult poverty and life course trajectories.
  4. Discuss the potential for decline in living standards based on demand for resources.
  5. Identify the role of immigration in supporting economic and social programs.
  6. Discuss health care costs, and the support for insurance and pharmaceutical reform.
  7. Evaluate the potential older adult market in innovation and entrepreneurship. 

In addition to watching the video lecture and completing the reading assignments, we will engage in an interactive quiz that reinforces these concepts. 

Aging in the Workplace 

Americans are living longer than ever before and many want to stay engaged in the workforce and many more will need to stay employed out of financial necessity. Indeed, there are many advantages of older workers staying employed including vast amounts of work experience, knowledge and maturity. In order to optimize the experience of the older worker, we must first consider the threat of ageism and stereotypes, as well as the realities of continuing to work past traditional retirement age. All this and more is covered in Week 3. 

Instructors

Caroline Cicero, PhD, MSW, MPL
Instructional Associate Professor and Director, USC Age-Friendly University Initiative 

Mireille Jacobson, PhD
Associate Professor of Gerontology  

Anna Nguyen, OTD, OTR/L 
Director of Internship Training 

Paul Nash, PhD, CPsychol, AFBPsS, FHEA 
Instructional Associate Professor 

Learning Objectives

After completing Week 3, participants will be able to:  

  1. Evaluate the economic and psychosocial needs for older adults to work beyond 65.
  2. Discuss the economic and social factors affecting older people’s decisions about remaining in the workforce. 
  3. Discuss the types of industries that will benefit from older workers.
  4. Analyze attitudes, ageism, stereotypes, and prejudices towards older people.
  5. Examine the rights of older workers and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act.
  6. Identify the ergonomic needs of older adults in the workplace and the meaning of reasonable accommodation.
  7. Analyze what benefits can be derived from an intergenerational workforce. 

In addition to watching the video lecture and completing the reading assignments, we will engage in an interactive quiz that reinforces these concepts.

The Urbanization of Older Adults  

In the United States and most of the other developed countries of the world, the population is aging in urban areas. This trend will continue well into the coming decades. As we think about where older people live, work and engage socially the concept of an age-friendly city has emerged. In Week 4, we learn about what defines an age-friendly city, what programs and services will be needed and what roles various professionals play in providing for the health and social services of older adults within a community setting.

Instructor:

Caroline Cicero, PhD, MSW, MPL
Instructional Associate Professor and Director, USC Age-Friendly University Initiative 

Donna Benton, PhD
Research Associate Professor of Gerontology and Director, USC Family Caregiver Support Center 

Cary Kreutzer, EdD, MPH, RD, FAND
Associate Professor of Gerontology and Pediatrics, Assistant Clinical Professor, Keck School of Medicine of USC, and Director of Master of Science in Nutrition, Healthspan and Longevity Program  

Learning Objectives

After completing Week 4, participants will be able to:  

  1. Analyze the housing needs of older adults and private and public responses.
  2. Evaluate the transportation needs of older adults and impact of community design.
  3. Discuss the need for access to care and a continuum of care.
  4. Identify the effects of and need for nutrition programs.
  5. Appraise the impacts of federal programs and role of local policies on older people. 

In addition to watching the video lecture and completing the reading assignments, we will engage in an interactive quiz that reinforces these concepts. 

The Diversity of the Nation

As our population is aging it is also becoming more diverse. It is important that we have professionals who understand and appreciate this trend and can demonstrate cultural competencies when working with these diverse populations. Week 5 explores various experiences of diverse groups of Americans as they age. It also looks at the opportunities to gain wisdom and knowledge from people who come from different countries, backgrounds, and ethnicities in order to enrich our communities. 

Instructors:

Caroline Cicero, PhD, MSW, MPL
Instructional Associate Professor and Director, USC Age-Friendly University Initiative 

Reginald Tucker-Seeley, MA, ScM, ScD
Edward L. Schneider Assistant Professor of Gerontology 

Learning Objectives

After completing Week 5, participants will be able to:  

  1. Analyze inequality in the aging experience and the intersection of contributing factors.
  2. Evaluate the role of gender in aging and the cumulative differences in experiences.
  3. Examine the varied experiences of African-American, Asian and Pacific Islander, Latino and mixed race older Americans and the impacts of life course effects.
  4. Examine the experiences of older LGBTQI adults and changing societal responses.
  5. Appraise the experiences of older Americans who are immigrants and refugees and those who have migrated as older adults.
  6. Identify the differences between multicultural, intercultural and cross-cultural communities and sensitivity. 

In addition to watching the video lecture and completing the reading assignments, we will engage in an interactive quiz that reinforces these concepts. 

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