Online Class: Caring for Seniors

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  • 15
  • 21
    Exams &
  • 2,211
    have taken this course
  • 7
    average time
  • 0.7

Course Description

Caring for a senior or elderly relative or friend or client at home may be one of the most gratifying and rewarding experiences of a lifetime, but is one that may also be filled with frustration, physical and mental weariness, and at times, resentment. Understanding the challenges and responsibilities of elder care, learning how to deal with day-to-day challenges and providing a safe and senior-friendly environment to loved ones is essential in the caregiving process. Encouraging seniors to stick to medication schedules, preventing dehydration and providing proper hygiene are essential in long-term care scenarios.

Learning how to safely transfer seniors in a variety of scenarios while at the same time protecting the caregiver are essential, as is learning how to deal with security and safety in the home of a senior diagnosed with Alzheimer's. Caring for seniors in a home environment also means providing care for the caregiver. Time-outs, support, dealing with difficult family members as well as the emotional, physical and mental strains of caregiving are addressed in this course.

Dealing with behavior problems such as aggression is also discussed, as are recognizing and preventing situations of senior abuse. Learning how to identify the warning signs of senior abuse and dealing with feelings of anger, resentment and stress are addressed in this course, and are as important for caregivers as they are for all  family members.

Finally, learning about community options for respite and end-of-life or hospice scenarios will help caregivers provide the best in effective, efficient and quality home care for seniors.

Taking care of an elderly individual, whether that person is your parent, friend, or other relative, is considered a duty and responsibility in many cultures. The elderly require a variety of services that may be provided by relatives in the home environment. Individuals considering caring for an elderly person, or taking that person into their home, need to address a number of potential challenges and responsibilities.

In some cases, aging parents or other relatives, may need specialized care that requires physical, emotional, and mental strength and stability. This course for caring for seniors at home will help prepare potential and current caregivers with the day-to-day challenges of caring for an elderly person, creating safe home environments, learning how to take care of yourself, as well as how to deal with specialized behavior problems or issues caused by medical illnesses or medications.

From the moment you decide to care for an elder, to the point where you may need help from professionals, caring for an elder may be one of the most rewarding, beneficial, yet challenging experiences of a lifetime.

Understanding Challenges and Responsibilities

The baby boomer generation has arrived. Baby boomers, those individuals born between 1946 and 1964, are expected to be one of the largest generations of aging population in the United States. As of 2015, millions of baby boomers began hitting 65 years of age, leading off a decades-long trend of a large number of individuals who will need health care and medical assistance with daily living activities.

Due to rising healthcare costs, economics, and the uncertainty of the future of government programs -- such as Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security benefits, more seniors are opting to remain in home environments, rather than planning on retirement communities, assisted living facilities, or nursing homes for their care.

Such trends will see more children of aging parents taking care of the elderly within their family units. While doing so is a standard and expected practice in many cultures and families, the burden of caring for an elderly individual also brings with it conflicts, disagreements, and stress.

Challenges Facing the Elderly

The elderly of the 21st century are unique in that they are considered to be the most educated generation of seniors in the history of the United States. Knowledge regarding health and wellness gives many of these seniors the opportunity to lead healthy and active lives well into their 70s, 80s, and 90s.

However, seniors also face a variety of issues when it comes to their care, including relinquishing control over their lives, concerns over burdening children or other family members, as well as the devastating loss of independence.

Individuals diagnosed with medical problems, such as arthritis, diabetes, or dementia, may find themselves increasingly isolated from family and social activities due to decreasing capabilities, leaving many open to increasing depression, feelings of worthlessness, and despair.

Dealing with the emotional, mental, and physical impact of the aging process is not easy for most seniors and might initiate a variety of responses, from frustration to rage.

Challenges Facing Caregivers

Children, friends, or relatives of aging family members who take upon their shoulders the responsibilities of caring for an elderly person may soon find themselves overwhelmed with responsibility. Challenges of balancing time between family, work, and an aging parent may create stressful situations and trouble both on the home front, and at work.

Making sure a parent is safe in a home environment, as well as watching over the physical, emotional, and mental care of an elderly person can be, and often is, extremely trying, frustrating and time-consuming.

Depression and stress among caregivers is a matter of great concern, which makes family support, cooperation, and help so essential in many scenarios. Physical limitations may also affect a caregiver's ability to care for an aging parent. Dealing with difficult siblings, lack of help from other family members, or the financial strain of helping to provide for an aging parent's care at home can be devastating to the family unit.

Caregivers dealing with the elderly must also be able to deal with a variety of behaviors, as well as attempting to encourage seniors to engage socially, as physical and mental limitations allow. There may come a time when a caregiver realizes more help is required, and making decisions regarding community services, nursing home, or hospice care may be extremely difficult and requires knowledge, support from other family members, and ample resources in order to make educated and well-informed decisions.

According to Census Bureau, the average lifespan of an adult living in 1900 was 47. Today, adults are living well into their 70s, 80s, and 90s, due, in part, to healthier lifestyles, nutritional education, vaccines, and better health care.

Planning for elder care in the home is something that every family should take the time to sit down and discuss. Plan ahead. Discuss options with aging parents or relatives to determine their preferences. Some will be adamant about staying home, while others won't really care. However, the goal of healthcare professionals -- and which should also be the goal of any caregiver -- is to encourage, improve, or maintain independence in seniors as long as possible.


Most children of aging parents don't really plan on putting money aside to take care of an aging parent. Most of us don't read books on how to take care of the elderly, and when we find ourselves in such a position, may be easily overwhelmed at the thought of many issues -- from taking a parent to the bathroom, to keeping Mom safe from the throes of Alzheimer's.

Preparation, information, and knowledge is the key to determining whether you are capable of caring for your parents or other elderly family members in a home environment. Understanding the basics of elder care in a variety of scenarios will help prepare you, your parents, and family for the responsibilities of caring for an aging parent or relative in a home environment.

If your parent or a senior relative has been diagnosed with early forms of dementia or Alzheimer's, take the time to discuss his or her wishes regarding care, where to live, and financial ramifications of any decisions made regarding that care.

Discussing elder care with aging parents or relatives isn't an easy topic to broach, but one that must be discussed openly and freely -- sooner, rather than later. 

  • Completely Online
  • Self-Paced
  • Printable Lessons
  • Full HD Video  
  • 6 Months to Complete
  • 24/7 Availability
  • Start Anytime
  • PC & Mac Compatible
  • Android & iOS Friendly
  • Accredited CEUs
  • Universal Class is an IACET Accredited Provider

    Course Lessons

    Average Lesson Rating:
    4.7 / 5 Stars (Average Rating)
    "Extraordinarily Helpful"
    (3,426 votes)

    Lesson 1: Caring for an Elder

    Taking care of an elderly individual, whether that person is your parent, friend, or other relative, is considered a duty and responsibility in many cultures. 9 Total Points
    • Lesson 1 Video
    • Take Poll: Caregiver
    • Take Survey: Reasons for Taking this Course
    • Complete Assignment: An Introduction
    • Complete Exam: Lesson 1: Caring For An Elder

    Lesson 2: Dealing With Day to Day Challenges

    From one day to the next, a caregiver may face a number of situations that test our ability to balance time between family, work, and elder care -- as well as maintain a sense of humor. 12 Total Points
    • Lesson 2 Video
    • Complete: Lesson 2 Assignment
    • Complete Exam: Lesson 2: Dealing With Day To Day Challenges

    Lesson 3: Safety First!

    Safety is a major factor when caring for an elderly person in a home environment. The first step for caregivers is to provide a senior family environment for the individual, whether it's in their own home or the caregiver's. 10 Total Points
    • Lesson 3 Video
    • Complete Exam: Lesson 3: Safety First!

    Lesson 4: Preventing Problems

    There's no way a caregiver can anticipate all types of problems or situations that may arise in caregiving scenarios. However, there are measures caregivers can take to reduce the frequency of problems. 11 Total Points
    • Lesson 4 Video
    • Complete: Lesson 4 Assignment
    • Complete Exam: Lesson 4: Preventing Problems

    Lesson 5: Mobility Issues

    Taking care of an elderly individual, whether it's a parent, friend, or relative, requires more than mental and emotional support, transportation to and from doctors' offices, and grocery shopping, cooking or cleaning. 10 Total Points
    • Lesson 5 Video
    • Complete Exam: Lesson 5: Mobility Issues

    Lesson 6: Dealing With Alzheimer's

    Alzheimer's is possibly the most feared and least understood of diseases that afflict the human brain. 9 Total Points
    • Lesson 6 Video
    • Complete Exam: Lesson 6: Dealing With Alzheimer's

    Lesson 7: Caring for the Caregiver

    As mentioned earlier, caregiving involves physical, emotional, and mental involvement in the life of an elderly individual. 12 Total Points
    • Lesson 7 Video
    • Take Poll: Caregiver Care
    • Complete: Lesson 7 Assignment
    • Complete Exam: Lesson 7: Caring for the Caregiver

    Lesson 8: Body Works and Limitations

    Caregivers take care of elderly individuals suffering from a variety of common medical conditions, such as arthritis, diabetes, incontinence, and strokes. 10 Total Points
    • Lesson 8 Video
    • Complete Exam: Lesson 8: Body Works and Limitations

    Lesson 9: Daily Routines

    Taking care of daily routines, such as meal planning and preparation, bathing, and dressing may be mundane. 10 Total Points
    • Lesson 9 Video
    • Complete Exam: Lesson 9: Daily Routines

    Lesson 10: Behavior Problems

    Dad refuses to bathe and all of a sudden Mom is talking like a sailor. Grandma accuses family members of stealing from her and Uncle George has suddenly developed an affinity for biting. 9 Total Points
    • Lesson 10 Video
    • Complete Exam: Lesson 10: Behavior Problems

    Lesson 11: Recognizing and Preventing Senior Abuse

    A study performed by the National Alliance for Caregiving and the American Association of Retired Persons determined that nearly 48 percent of caregivers to the elderly are elderly spouses, and that nearly 75 percent of them are women. 10 Total Points
    • Lesson 11 Video
    • Complete Exam: Lesson 11: Recognizing and Preventing Senior Abuse

    Lesson 12: Staying Active

    There's an old saying, "Use it or lose it." This is very true, in both a physical and a mental sense. The muscles in the body and the brain need to stay exercised and active to perform adequately. 9 Total Points
    • Lesson 12 Video
    • Complete Exam: Lesson 12: Staying Active

    Lesson 13: Respite Care Options

    Anyone taking care of someone, regardless of age, needs a break once in a while. 10 Total Points
    • Lesson 13 Video
    • Complete Exam: Lesson 13: Respite Care Options

    Lesson 14: Finding Help

    No matter the situation, whether the caregiver belongs to a large or small family, in the middle of a city, or in a rural community, community services and professional help are available. 10 Total Points
    • Lesson 14 Video
    • Take Poll: Elder Care Help
    • Complete Exam: Lesson 14: Finding Help

    Lesson 15: Hospice

    For many caregivers involved in long-term scenarios, the time for dealing with a dying patient must be addressed, and needs met. 52 Total Points
    • Lesson 15 Video
    • Take Poll: What do you think about this course?
    • Take Survey: Program Evaluation Follow-up Survey (End of Course)
    • Complete: Lesson 15 Assignment
    • Complete Exam: Lesson 15: Hospice
    • Complete: The Final Exam
    Total Course Points

    Learning Outcomes

    By successfully completing this course, students will be able to:
    • Describe methods for providing care to the elderly.
    • Describe safety methods that must be observed when caring for the elderly.
    • Describe ways to deal with patients that have Alzheimer's Disease.
    • Describe daily routines and common behavior problems.
    • Recognize and preventing senior abuse.
    • Summarize the role and purpose of hospice care.
    • Describe ways to proactively prevent problems and dealing with mobility issues.
    • Describe methods for dealing with Alzheimer's.
    • Describe dealing with daily routines and behavior problems.
    • Identify how to recognize and prevent senior abuse.
    • Describe respite care options and hospice, and
    • Demonstrate mastery of lesson content at levels of 70% or higher.

    Additional Course Information

    Online CEU Certificate
    • Document Your Lifelong Learning Achievements
    • Earn an Official Certificate Documenting Course Hours and CEUs
    • Verify Your Certificate with a Unique Serial Number Online
    • View and Share Your Certificate Online or Download/Print as PDF
    • Display Your Certificate on Your Resume and Promote Your Achievements Using Social Media
    Document Your CEUs on Your Resume
    Course Title: Caring for Seniors
    Course Number: 8900165
    Course Requirements: View Course Requirements
    Lessons Rating: 4.7 / 5 Stars (3,426 votes)
    Languages: English - United States, Canada and other English speaking countries
    Course Type: Support/Advice (Self-Paced, Online Class)
    CEU Value: 0.7 IACET CEUs (Continuing Education Units)
    CE Accreditation: Universal Class, Inc. has been accredited as an Authorized Provider by the International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET).
    Grading Policy: Earn a final grade of 70% or higher to receive an online/downloadable CEU Certification documenting CEUs earned.
    Assessment Method: Lesson assignments and review exams
    Syllabus: View Syllabus
    Duration: Continuous: Enroll anytime!
    Course Fee: $70.00 (no CEU Certification) || with Online CEU Certification: $95.00

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    Student Testimonials

    • "Excellent instructor, I found the course very informative and helpful." -- Lee G.
    • "All info was very helpful" -- Sarah B.
    • "I found the whole content of the course helpful, but I was very impressed with the mobility issues presented and the behavior changes in seniors. I also found very helpful the chapter on hospice. I would like to take a class on hospice care and end of life care. " -- Luzie Lira H.
    • "Instructor did a great job, the course was excellent" -- JEANETT S.
    • "Entire course was helpful." -- Rose L.
    • "Great and very helpful." -- Roland S.
    • "I actually took this course for CEUs...Material was informative on a very understandable level (for someone who may not be familiar with course content) and the links provided were very useful." -- Dianne K.
    • View More Testimonials...