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Course Report

50+ Free Online Courses to Care for Elderly People

The number of people needing assistance in their later years is growing rapidly. These courses discuss health and care issues common in older people or outline ways to improve your chances of keeping healthy for longer.

Photo by Dominik Lange on Unsplash

With better medical care, people are living longer. While some are enjoying a better quality of life for longer than in past times, the number of people needing assistance in their later years is growing rapidly. According to the United Nations, “Globally, the population aged 65 and over is growing faster than all other age groups.” As reported previously by Class Central, an online Master’s degree in end-of-life care started in January 2020.

Whether you are caring for an older person at home, working in a care facility, or interested in the social, economic, and demographic implications of aging populations, here are more than 50 courses to explore. Some discuss health and care issues common in older people, others outline ways to improve your chances of keeping healthy for longer.

Related health matters such as cardiovascular health, depression, and diabetes are not limited to older people, but these conditions occur more frequently in this age group. Find more courses in specific topics with our Search facility.

And if you are retired from the paid workforce but still keen to learn online, try these courses about aging or any of our subjects.

Understanding Dementia
University of Tasmania via Independent
This is a course about dementia looking at a broad range of topics including, basic brain anatomy, pathology, dementia research, risk factors, symptoms, diagnosis, medical management, living with dementia, progression and staging, palliation, behaviours and therapeutic approaches.
★★★★★ (6742 ratings)

Preventing Dementia
University of Tasmania via Independent
Preventing Dementia is a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC), offering university-quality education about the latest research in dementia risk and protective factors.
★★★★★ (2907 ratings)

The Musculoskeletal System: The Science of Staying Active into Old Age
Newcastle University via FutureLearn
Demystify the ageing process and learn how our everyday behaviours are likely to affect our long-term musculoskeletal health.
★★★★★ (176 ratings)

Nutrition, Heart Disease and Diabetes
Wageningen University via edX
Discover the latest insights on the importance of nutrition and lifestyle in the development and treatment of cardiovascular diseases and diabetes mellitus in the online open course Nutrition, Heart disease and Diabetes.
★★★★★ (101 ratings)

End of Life Care: Challenges and Innovation
University of Glasgow via FutureLearn
Explore dying and palliative care practice around the world and evaluate new trends and ideas surrounding end of life care issues.
★★★★★ (30 ratings)

Causes of Human Disease: Understanding Cardiovascular Disease
University of Leeds via FutureLearn
Explore normal cardiovascular function and risk factors associated with heart attack, stroke and other cardiovascular diseases.
★★★★★ (5 ratings)

Easing the burden of obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease
The University of Sydney via Coursera
This course shows how all chronic diseases (obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and cancer) are related by a set of common causes, and that such diseases should be tackled, not individually, but as part of a complex system, with interrelated contributing factors.
★★★★★ (2 ratings)

Ageing Well: Why Older People Fall
Newcastle University via FutureLearn
Explore why people fall, discover practical methods to reduce the risk of falling and recognise when to seek expert help.
★★★★★ (3 ratings)

Healthy Ageing in 6 Steps: Let your environment do the work
Delft University of Technology via edX
Learn how to make healthy choices and adjustments to your lifestyle and environment to help you live a healthier, happier and longer life.
★★★★★ (1 rating)

Dementia and Diversity in Primary Care: A Primer – Guidelines, Ethnic Differences, and Assessment
Stanford Medicine via edX
This initial course, Dementia and Diversity in Primary Care: A Primer – Guidelines, Ethnic Differences, and Assessment, will introduce primary care physicians and members of their care teams to the “ethnogeriatric imperative” and its impact on dementia. Future courses will provide information on assessing and caring for diverse racial and ethnic groups.
★★★★★ (1 rating)

Foundations for Assisting in Home Care
State University of New York via Coursera
This course is intended as a self-study course for those interested in exploring a career as a Home Health Aide or Personal Care Aide.
★★★★★ (1 rating)

Why Do We Age? The Molecular Mechanisms of Ageing
University of Groningen via FutureLearn
Why do we age? Is there a limit to human lifespan? Can we prolong our lives? Find out with this free online course.
★★★★☆ (11 ratings)

Managing Your Health: The Role of Physical Therapy and Exercise
University of Toronto via Coursera
Managing Your Health: The Role of Physical Therapy and Exercise will introduce learners to the concepts and benefits of physical therapy and exercise. Over six weeks learners will explore: Why physical activity and exercise are important, Exercise and Cardiovascular Disease, Exercise and Osteoporosis, Exercise and Cancer, Common Sports Injuries, Exercise and Arthritis
★★★★★ (2 ratings)

Strategies for Successful Ageing
Trinity College Dublin via FutureLearn
Find out how staying happy, healthy, socially-connected and active can help you age successfully, with this free online course.
★★★★☆ (5 ratings)

Exercise Prescription for the Prevention and Treatment of Disease
Trinity College Dublin via FutureLearn
Learn how physical exercise can help patients including those with cardiovascular disease, mental health problems and cancer.
★★★★☆ (2 ratings)

Disease Screening in Public Health
University of Geneva via Coursera
Current and future public health is characterized by the increase of chronic and degenerative diseases, corresponding to the worldwide ageing of the population. The increasing prevalence of these conditions together with the long incubation period of the chronic diseases and the continual technological innovations, offer new opportunities to develop strategies for early diagnosis.
★★★☆☆ (2 ratings)

Dementia Care: Staying Connected and Living Well
Newcastle University via FutureLearn
A course for carers, to help you stay connected to loved ones, manage stress at home and defuse difficult situations.

Business Models for Innovative Care for Older People
University of Copenhagen via Coursera
Aging has been coined as one of the major societal challenges. The fact that we simply live longer, is in itself not a problem but rather a triumph. However, this unprecedented demographic change significantly affects individual life histories through an increased number of e.g. lifestyle related chronic diseases. These extra life years also have a massive imprint on the organization of welfare institutions and the financial sustainability of the welfare system.

What is Palliative Care?
University of Colorado System via Coursera
Palliative care provides invaluable help for patients living with serious or life-limiting illness and their family caregivers. Palliative care should be part of healthcare services to improve quality of life, the ability to tolerate and benefit from treatment and improve survival.

Pain Management: Easing Pain in Palliative Care
University of Colorado System via Coursera
In this course, you will be able to develop a systems view for assessing and managing pain in the palliative care setting. By the end of the course, you will be able to: 1) Describe the pain problem in the palliative care setting; 2) Assess a person’s pain, 3) Explain the benefits of integrative therapies and pharmacologic strategies to manage pain.

Foundations in Dementia
The University of Nottingham via FutureLearn
Discover better ways to support people with dementia. Explore signs and symptoms, interventions, support networks and more.

Global Disease Masterclass: Non-communicable Diseases
Imperial College London via Coursera
Welcome to this course on the aetiology, epidemiology and interventions for non-communicable diseases of the Global Diseases Masterclass. We’ve selected four disease areas: Colorectal Cancer, Cardiovascular Disease (CVD), Dementia, and Diabetes.

Non-Communicable Diseases in Humanitarian Settings
University of Copenhagen via Coursera
According to the World Health Organization, 70 percent of global deaths are due to NCDs. The four main disease groups which cause the greatest number of deaths are cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (including asthma).

Cancer Prevention Web-Based Activity
University of Virginia via Coursera
This web-based video course focuses on the importance of prevention and risk reduction in decreasing cancer occurrences.

Dementia and the Arts: Sharing Practice, Developing Understanding and Enhancing Lives
University College London via FutureLearn
Explore, challenge and shape your perceptions of dementia through science and the creative arts

Dementia and Diversity in Primary Care: South Asian American Populations
Stanford Medicine via edX
This course, Dementia and Diversity in Primary Care: South Asian American Populations, will provide information on assessing and caring for Dementia patients, their families, and caregivers in South Asian American Populations.

Human Growth and Development
Modern States via Independent
It covers the fundamentals generally taught in a one-semester introductory course in developmental psychology or human development, including the infancy, childhood, adolescence, adulthood, and aging.

CARE: Nutrition in Ageing
Imperial College London via edX
Learn the fundamentals of nutrition for healthy ageing and enhance your care practice

CARE: Promotion of Healthy Ageing
Karolinska Institutet via edX
Learn how to promote active and healthy ageing when caring for an older adult. Explore lifestyle-related factors and their role in the prevention of diseases and disorders in old age.

CARE: Introduction to Caregiving for Older Adults
Karolinska Institutet via edX
This course serves as an introduction to care and support for older adults, senior citizens, and the elderly. Together we can help deliver personalized caregiving, helping citizens age well and with dignity.

CARE: Age related diseases and disorders
Karolinska Institutet via edX
This course explores a range of diseases, disorders and conditions that we may encounter as we age, and how it can look when an older adult has more than one medical condition, known as comorbidities.

Contemporary Japanese Society: What Has Been Happening Behind Demographic Change?
The University of Tokyo via edX
Learn basic knowledge of contemporary Japanese society, focusing on demographic change and social stratification after the Second World War.

Lifestyle Medicine Treatments of Chronic Disease – Part 1
Doane University via edX
Learn specific lifestyle medicine treatment protocols for a variety of chronic diseases, such as breast cancer, diabetes, and heart disease.

Lifestyle Medicine Treatments of Chronic Disease – Part 2
Doane University via edX
Learn specific lifestyle medicine treatment protocols for a variety of chronic diseases, such as prostate cancer, osteoporosis, and depression.

Hypertension in Primary Care – Improving Control and Reducing Risk
Stanford University via edX

The activity will cover the principles of hypertension pathophysiology and diagnosis; recent hypertensive guidelines and trials; and the development of appropriate hypertensive regimens for both uncomplicated and resistant hypertension. In addition, the activity will cover when advanced diagnostics and referral to specialty care are indicated.

Dementia and Diversity in Primary Care: Latino Populations
Stanford Medicine via edX

This course, Dementia and Diversity in Primary Care: Latino Populations, will provide information on assessing and caring for Dementia patients, their families, and caregivers in Latino/Hispanic American Populations.

Dementia and Diversity in Primary Care: African American Populations
Stanford University via edX
This course, Dementia and Diversity in Primary Care: African American Populations, will provide information on assessing and caring for Dementia patients, their families, and caregivers in African American Populations.

Alzheimer’s Disease & Dementia Care
University System of Maryland via edX
Provides an overview of Alzheimer’s disease, including pathophysiology, risk factors, stages, symptoms, diagnosis, including medications used to enhance cognitive function. Reviews modified communication strategies that optimize interactions and reduce behavioral expressions. Explores the topic of dementia caregiving, its challenges and resources available, as well as special care considerations when the person with dementia is hospitalized.

The Business of Aging in the Longevity Economy
Georgetown University via edX
The Business of Aging in the Longevity Economy will introduce you to the interdisciplinary field of aging, important concepts of senior living administration, and to the master of science degree at Georgetown University in Aging & Health. This three-module course is appropriate for anyone interested in learning about aging personally or professionally, including college graduates who are interested in aging social and policy issues as well as mid-career or encore-career students who seek professional advancement or a shift in the career track.

End-of-Life Care for People with Dementia
University of East Anglia via FutureLearn
Understand the needs of people with dementia, and how to better support them and enhance their wellbeing towards the end of life.

Frailty in Daily Living
Hong Kong Polytechnic University via edX
A practical MOOC that allows you to experience the assessment and management of frailty in daily life to achieve healthy ageing.

Myocardial Infarction
University of Zurich via Coursera
Most cardiovascular diseases can be prevented by addressing behavioral risk factors, the understanding of these risk factors, their mechanisms and impact on the cardiovascular system. In this context our course aims to approach the complex field of myocardial infarction in two respects: medical education and awareness of a broader audience.

Caring for Older People: a Partnership Model
Deakin University via FutureLearn
As our lifespans increase, more and more of us are faced with the question: how can we care for older people more effectively?

Internet of Things for Active Aging
Taipei Medical University via FutureLearn
Learn about how the Internet of Things can help people aging well with this free online course.

Nutrition and Disease Prevention
Taipei Medical University via FutureLearn
Learn about the relationship between diet and disease and discover the role a nutrient-rich diet can play in disease prevention.

Introduction to Hearing Loss
Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai via Coursera
Disorders of the ear range from simple, easily treated entities (such as wax or cerumen impaction) to the highly complex (such as permanent hearing loss).

ÉCHELLE RACE: Dépistage préhospitalier de l’AVC impliquant une occlusion de gros vaisseaux cérébraux
University of Barcelona via Coursera
L’avantage de toutes les thérapies disponibles dans l’AVC aigu est d’autant plus grand que le traitement est commencé tôt.

Healthy Aging and the Future of Cannabis Research
University of Colorado Boulder via Coursera
This Healthy Aging and Future of Cannabis Research course is designed to have you think critically about the health effects of cannabis in the context of inflammation, exercise, and aging.

Rethinking Ageing: Are we prepared to live longer?
University of Melbourne via Coursera
Population ageing is occurring in nearly every country around the world. This MOOC takes a multidisciplinary approach to explore the impact of living longer and takes into account the technological advancements, the built environment, economics and ethics to rethink what it means to ‘age well’ now and in the future.

Palliative Care Always: India
Stanford University via Stanford OpenEdx
Palliative care can help ease suffering and improve wellbeing in people living with serious illnesses such as cancer. Palliative Care Always: India is an online, case-based course for health care practitioners.

Palliative Care Always
Stanford University via Stanford OpenEdx
Palliative care can help ease suffering and improve wellbeing in people living with serious illnesses such as cancer. Palliative Care Always is an online, case-based course for health care practitioners who work in cancer care.

Pat Bowden Profile Image

Pat Bowden

Online learning specialist, still learning after 100+ MOOCs completed since 2012. Class Central customer support and help since 2018. I am keen to help others make the most of online learning, so I set up a website:  www.onlinelearningsuccess.org

Comments 1

  1. Avatar

    Mariana

    Hello Pat, in Miríadax (www.miriadax.net) we have a couple of courses developed by the University of Evora that also addresses special care to the eldery. I don’t know if you could add it to the list, especially because, as you highlighted, most courses are English and it is quite hard to find good material produced in other languages, such as Portuguese.

    https://miriadax.net/web/queda-no-idoso-seguranca-pela-prevencao-/inicio
    https://miriadax.net/web/queda-no-idoso-mobilizar-os-fatores-ambientais-/inicio

    Reply

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